Google has begun to highlight 'areas of interest' on Google Maps. According to the Google Maps Blog "areas with the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and shops" will now be shaded orange on Google Maps.
This is a neat idea. It should mean that when you are in an unfamiliar area you can quickly identify areas where there should be a concentration of venues for eating, drinking and shopping. However this feature is only as good as the data that Google has. For example near me Google Maps shades two blocks of apartments in orange and a concentration of factory warehouses (which would only be of interest to drivers of delivery vans).
When you zoom in on the orange shaded areas on Google Maps the labels for individual areas appear on the map. This does mean that in most cases you should be able to tell from the map labels whether an area really does have bars, shops and restaurants. When I zoom in on the little orange shaded industrial area near my location the map reveals that the businesses are called things like 'Construction Support' and 'Roofing Suppliers' which does alert me to the fact that this might not be the best place to go for sushi.