The new Google Maps offers a complete overhaul of the user interface along with Google Earth.
This is the major change made to the Google Maps in 2013. The side panel is no longer there and instead, we have a map that totally fills up the screen. The search bar is present, though very inconspicuous. The search bar offers plenty of functionality. You can use it to access particular addresses as well as various categories. You can access restaurants, bars, movie theatres and so on. The search bar also enables dynamic routing, with contextual information when you click anywhere on the map.
The Card design is another neat introduction, similar to what you see in Google Now and also in Google search results. There are cards placed below the search bar. They are split into different sections. You can stack them to move from information to information. The cards also appear when needed and then disappear, so that there is more space available for the map.
The entire system is more contextually aware. It is smarter and faster and also more flexible. You can get information on every click. Previously, there were popup windows when you clicked on a spot, but this had the disadvantage of covering up the surrounding location or area.
This is a neat integration with Google Maps. The pegman has gone and, instead, if you click on any spot on the map, you can get a preview thumbnail loaded in a card on the search bar. You no longer have to drag the pegman and drop it all over the screen. Many locations offer a Street View. You can also click on the See Inside option. This enables viewers to check out the dÃ©cor or other details of a restaurant, shop, etc., and not merely the front. Photographs generated by users are neatly placed in a gallery. Users can scroll through the gallery of photos found at the bottom of the Google Map. The gallery updates automatically according to the place you click. You can then have a tour of the images.
The previous Satellite View has been done away with and, instead, we now have the Google Earth thumbnail. This feature was also available in the previous version but only by using a plug in, whereas the new version is simply amazing. The tilt view has been expanded. You can have a view of 3D buildings, almost similar to the flyover feature of Apple Maps. At present, the feature is focused on the US, but it will soon expand to other prominent cities all over the world. However, there is one small disadvantage to the Google Earth feature. You are not allowed to zoom in as much as the previous Satellite view. However, you can zoom out much further, and see the earth spinning in the clouds in real time space. You can also see the respective time zones, parts of the earth having day, night and so on. You can also view the beautifully lit up areas in the thickly populated areas of countries.
New Routing System
There has been a complete overhaul in this section. Whenever you click on any point in the map, the search bar offers a card, where you can opt for directions. You can also route the most recently searched locations, search manually or click to set up a new start point.
One caveat in the new Google Maps is that there are certain performance requirements. All systems having a RAM of below 512 MB in the drive space will have to miss out on this experience. In addition, the system must have a Direct X9 GPU and a dedicated RAM of 64 MB to experience the new Google Maps.
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