Google Maps gets a subtle refresh for a cleaner look

By Shawn Knight ยท 12 replies
Jul 26, 2016
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  1. Google recently made some visual changes and additions to its popular mapping application designed to make it a bit easier on the eyes and user-friendly.

    Zhou Bailiang, UX Designer, Google Maps and Mark Li, Software Engineer, Google Local, explain that it starts with a cleaner look. For example, they’ve removed non-essential elements like road outlines and improved the typography of street names, points of interest, transit stations and so on to make them more distinguishable from other items on the map.

    The cleaner canvas, they said, opens up the possibility to highlight areas of interest through subtle orange shading that is determined via an algorithmic process. In high-density areas like New York City, however, Maps also relies on some human intervention to highlight the most active areas.

    When you see a shaded area, you can zoom in further for more information about venues in that area.

    Last but not least, Google has implemented a subtle color scheme designed to help users easily differentiate between things like man-made or natural features as well as schools, hospitals, freeways, bodies of water and so on.

    The updates are all part of the latest version of Google Maps for Android, iOS and on the desktop. The new look may be a bit surprising to some, especially if they aren’t anticipating it, although I don’t think it’ll take too long for everyone to get acclimated.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,670   +1,102

    You can finally read without needing glasses! YES!
    p51d007 likes this.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,340   +1,436

    My number one complaint about Google maps, STOP SAYING IVE REACH MY DESTINATION AND REMOVING THE ADDRESS. I'm a delivery driver and this drives me nuts. I'll be looking for the house number and Google maps will just clear the field and then ill have to pull the receipt out of the bag to double check the house number. This is especially a problem with corner houses because it doesn't display the address until you're on the road the address is to.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    I was scared when I read this headline. usually when Google says 'cleaner' they really mean they took stuff away. Last time they updated Google Maps I just went and used Bing (for real). Bing let me label things on a map - if you can do that with Google I sure couldn't figure it out.

    This is their app though, not the website - looks easier to read, so long as they print the street names. I HATE having to scroll miles down a road to find a place where Google thought it was finally time to label the road.
  5. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 253   +126

    Stop using GPS and learn your streets. Former Dominos driver here. Learning your streets and memorizing the high/low side of streets will make you faster in general.
    killmess, Timonius and p51d007 like this.
  6. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,340   +1,436

    It's not about the streets, it's about losing the house number right as you're pulling up.
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +651

    I worked 911 for almost 20 years, well before GPS. We had to know address block numbers. Also, not sure how your streets are laid out, but in our city, streets run east/west, avenues run north south, courts dead end etc. Same for rural roads. Odd, north/south, even, east west. Odd numbers on the north & west sides of roads, even numbers, south & east sides of roads. When I get a street address, one I may not be familiar with, I know from the number, what road it should intersect with. After you learn the streets, knowing where they are, you won't even bother using a GPS. My city is considered small, only 250,000 population, but around 400,000 if you include the entire county.
    Timonius likes this.
  8. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,340   +1,436

    I live in Pittsburgh and the streets are a disaster, there are no "block numbers" and very few straight roads.
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,355   +2,005

    Welcome changes .....
  10. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 268   +39

    Any map that's a light color hurts my eyes.

    Satellite with roads is where it's at.
    yRaz likes this.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,173   +989

    it is a PRIVACY problem. The general public has no need for the address or the license numbers on cars in the driveway. Think BIGGER that just your job. It's your employer that didn't provide the necessary tools, not Google.
  12. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 253   +126

    I worked pizza delivery for two years in a massive delivery area with houses, apartments and multiple convenience stores. Carry a flashlight if you have problems? Find a house with a light on and count up/down from there?
  13. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 253   +126

    What is a privacy problem? All pizza places have some sort of map posted in their store. Either way, delivery drivers should not be relying on GPS.

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