The New Google Maps: The Pros & Cons

Google Maps United States

The new Google Maps launched this week to select group who requested, and its new enhancements are welcome.

Overall, the change is welcome, as the older version didn’t have smooth navigation, and certain segments didn’t load at times.

The look got stale over time, and increasing competition with Microsoft’s Bing, and new technologies are assumed to be factors for a new version.

Pros:

  • Map Detail: The detail in the maps is extraordinary, yet easy to read. As someone who’s still learning various areas of a major metropolitan city, it becomes handy with all the small areas of the city while highlighting major landmarks, and popular places.
    Google Maps Phoenix, Arizona
  • Directions: Directions are clear, although, if you want a step-by-step instruction, a few extra clicks is needed, bringing you to a smaller map. It mainly highlights the recommended route, but still offers alternative routes in a different, less distinct, color.
    Google Maps Phoenix Arizona Directions
  • Google Earth: The program originally called, Keyhole, now widely known as Google Earth, is more prominent then the previous version. It’s taking advantage of the modern day flat screen monitors that are more accustomed on people’s desks.Google Earth Camelback Mountain Phoenix
  • New Google Street View Layout: Upon accessing the image of the location desired, the image takes up virtually the entire browser, unlike previously, it was only a small portion (option for full screen was offered). Just like Google Earth, it’s making use of the widescreen computer monitors. How you access Street View, on the other hand is tougher.

Cons:

  • Tougher accessibility for Street View: Previously, click & drag the Street View icon to the street location was quick & easy. Now, you click on the location, and then click on the Street View image.
  • Coordinates & Embeding: The feature to find the coordinates of a location appears to be missing, as pointed out by someone who uses the feature regularly. Additionally, I still can’t locate the embed future, for use of embedding a map into a website.

Have you had a chance to use the new Google Maps? What do you think of it? What do you like & don’t like about it?

[crp]