It’s been more than a year since the release of the brand new version of Google Maps.
The new Maps now integrate Google Earth and Street View with the rest of the location services all in one central place. All the old cluttered features are now gone and a more robust map offering edge-to-edge imaging is on offer now. The new Google Maps has now become a default version for users and is one of the most powerful maps. However, those who are used to the older version might take some time getting used to the new and enhanced features. In short, Google Maps today is one of the most powerful web applications on earth.
More Intuitive and Interactive
Users can seamlessly zip in and out of the basic view to the Street view and then on to the satellite imagery and so on. The map has become more interactive and intuitive, with additional features that are embedded in the red pushpins found when you click on a location. The map also seems to redraw itself based on the user’s clicks. It recognizes the places you access, the establishments you visit, the places reviewed by your friends and so on.
Cards with Contextual Information
The new Google Maps comes with a dizzying set of features and if you are not careful, you might miss out many of the new dimensions presented in it. The Google Now type of cards is one of these prominent features. The cards show you information that is relevant to the context of your search. For instance, if you are looking for a flight or a restaurant, the results will show you any reservations that you have or the upcoming events of that location.
This feature offers transit options, through which the user can see the buses or trains coming in enabling better planning of the day. There is also an option for Air travel, where the user can view airfares, with ads from Google Flights. It can also book your flight and get a sale commission in the process.
Offering Data in Real time
With the acquisition of Waze, Google Maps is also able to offer traffic data in real time with information from other partners as well. It is easy to access street view quickly and get photo tours or Earth tours of the landmarks located nearby. Photo tours are in the form of slide shows with panoramic images offering a three dimensional view Users can also get earth tours with three dimensional flyovers.
Along with locations, you can also see reviews and costs when you click on a location. When you click the listed locations on the Google Maps, you can view this type of information. Users can also compare the information with other related results that Google offers, based on the stars received by that location. This brings in additional pressure on businesses and organizations. Those locations having a stronger presence on Google+ will have more related mentions in the Google Maps.
Tool for Planning Trips
If you want to visit a particular place, say, New York City, you have a tool for planning your trip. There is so much to see and you may not know your way around. After clicking on any one of the attractions of the place, you can click on the + sign under the search bar for adding the next attraction. The best path for touring the city will be planned out by the tool, according to the locations listed by you.
The features and the design are very powerful and rather overwhelming to the user. However, there is very little confusion, as most of the features remain in the background till the user summons them. Many users might never discover all the features and possibilities of Google Maps and still continue with basic searches, though there are many shortcuts available now.