The new Google Maps features a cleaner interface and new color schemes that signal key areas of interest.
(CCM) — Google Maps rolled out its newest update for desktop, Android, and iPhone yesterday with noticeable new changes that aim to make the Google Maps experience easier to understand and navigate. On a visual level, the update focused on decluttering the interface by removing "unnecessary" elements, such as road outlines, as well as improving overall typography. Added colors help distinguish between natural areas and man-made constructions. In addition to visual features, the update also includes a new "areas of interest" function that highlights local hotspots. According to the Google Maps blog, areas of interest are determined "with an algorithmic process that allows us to highlight the areas with the highest concentration of restaurants, bars, and shops." A color map key was also released to help users decipher between categories and key features of a highlighted area.
Over the past year, Google Maps has shown an increased focus on using data mining to simplify and improve a user's overall experience. In January, the application's v.9.19 update introduced a new "Driving Mode" that predicts where users are headed based on location history. The company also recently unveiled a new-and-improved Google Earth update, which focused on using high-resolution satellite images to provide users with up-to-date, pixel-perfect representations of the Earth's surface.
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