It’s been nearly a year now since we saw a brand-new version of Google-Maps, rebuilt from the ground up to integrate street view, Google Earth and the rest of Google’s location services into a single place. The new Google maps have been available to users, who request an invitation since May, but starting today, becoming default version for all users.
The new Google Map is the most powerful Maps ever, it aims to simplify the world’s most widely used mapping software by making it more seamless to zip in and out of the basic view, Street View, and satellite imagery.
The map is now fully interactive. Click anywhere on the map it will tell you what your cursor has landed on complete with street view thumbnail. Make smarter decisions, just search for “coffee” in your neighborhood, you’ll be able to see results and snippets right on the map, including the time and distance for each route and with the new real-time traffic reports and street view previews. Rich imagery takes you to notable landmarks, sends you flying above mountains in 3D, and gives you a sneak peek of businesses you plan to visit. The new “carousel” at the bottom of the map makes all this imagery easy to access, so you can explore the world with a click.
We can dodge jams as live traffic is displayed with color coded alerts to congested roads, which was available earlier, but what’s new is the ability to predict traffic up to a week before you embark on your journey. Click on either a train or bus stop icon and it’ll tell you what lines operate and what bus number runs on that route. For some bus stops it will even tell you the times for the next departing buses.
Finally if you’re just not ready for change you can return to the old Google Maps by clicking the help icon and select ‘return to classic Google maps’.
Quick! Where you were last Wednesday at 7.30 PM? If you carry any Android phone or tablet, Google now can automatically figure out where you work and warn you about traffic.
Google launched the first version of this tool around the same time that they launched Latitude. After they killed latitude off, they kept their location browser around, polishing it up and adding new little tricks as time went on.
It’s mind-blowing to think about how much data they’re gathering, if you’re suddenly realizing there’s location or two that you’d rather weren’t sitting in your history, you can wipe it on a day-by-day basis or clean your entire location slate in one fell swoop.