May 23, 2013

New Google Maps - Maps As They Should Be

I had a few days now, trying out the new Google Maps.
Please note that this is a preview. And an impressive one. It was one of the most talked presentations of the Keynote on May 15th in the Moscone center. A major service gets a major overhaul. If that isn't a big thing, I don't know. Millions of people using it every day.
It takes some time to load graphics / Photo Copyright in the Screenshot. All rights reserved.
Now the great presentation set expectations up high. Of course I tried to zoom out the first. And yes, a nice view. And not completely useless. The clouds are projected in near real time onto the globe. So you can see where bad weather or sunny fun is happening at a glimpse. Another little thing that shows the tremendous progress at Google, centralizing information from everywhere to make a better service.

If you use the normal standard map view, everything you are used to are still there. Well, it's a map at last. Of course it's there. But now in a more nicely way. The personalization is great, and you can see your favorite places right up. You also can choose to see recommendations from your circles on Google+. I see no flaws in the map view. Latitude seems not to work at this time with the new maps.
Some places look weird / Photo Copyright in the Screenshot. All rights reserved.
The Earth view, formerly satellite, looks amazing. However, you can not zoom in as deeply as with the old maps. If you zoom in, you see some weird graphics sometimes. When using the tilt feature to have a 3D view, sometimes the areas looking a little bit strange. That is probably from low resolution photos of some areas, and I'm sure it will get changed quickly. Remember that this is a preview. That's why thereis a feedback button, too. You should use it if you find some weird things on the map.
Some areas are breathtaken on the new maps / Photo Copyright in the Screenshot. All rights reserved.
Other areas are looking amazingly great. This way or another it's a great improvement. As this new maps will further improve, I'm getting excited to see Tokyo in 3D. By now Tokyo is flat. I'm quite sure Google is already working on that. The massive amount of data for Tokyo will surely take some time.
Too Bad. Tokyo is flat / Photo Copyright in the Screenshot. All rights reserved.
My conclusion is clear: Another major improvement and the best map experience for the future. Later this year, when it's released to the public, yes we will hear some critics. Just like now with the awesome new Hangouts. People don't like change. But in the end, they will like the new Google Maps. Because it's so much more effective and good-looking.