Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More on the New Google Maps Design

Droid Life has managed to grab a series of screenshots of what looks like a major redesign of Google Maps. Apparently a sign-up page for the new Google Maps briefly went live last night and Droid Life managed to capture a number of images used in the sign-up page that reveal some of the new features coming to Google Maps.

A Smarter Search Box

The sign-up page promises a smarter search box, "One search makes all the information you need available at a glance - read up on your destination, see ratings and reviews, and sometimes even take a peak inside."

As you can see from the screenshot above the new Google Maps seems to fill the whole browser window, with the search box overlaid on the map rather than placed above the map. The results of this search, for 'museums near Paris' also uses what look like genre specific map markers to display the results on the map rather than the iconic large red Google Maps marker.

The search box also gives you the option to view the 'top reviews'  and hints at the almost inevitable tie-in with Google+, giving you the option to view results from 'Your Circles'.

Flight Search and Directions

A screenshot also shows that Flight Search is being added to the directions options. Google's underused separate Flight Search service therefore will now be incorporated into the new Google Maps and will make available one more option for users when looking for directions.

Google Maps users will now be able to ask for driving, transit, flight, walking and biking directions.

Another screenshot in the sign-up page suggests that users will also be able to view a combination of the different directions options on the same map. So, for example, users will be able to view driving and public transit directions for the same route on the same map and will be able to compare the journey times for each mode of transport.

Maps that Get Better

Finally, another image promises that Google Maps will adapt to individual users, "As you search the map, star places you like and leave reviews, the map starts to adapt and can suggest things, like restaurants you might enjoy or the quickest way home. In other words the more you use the new Google Maps, the more helpful it becomes".

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