An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

November 25, 2008

Google Maps Has a New Interface

Google Maps borrowed the navigation controls from Google Earth and made the transition to Street View smoother. Just click on the small yellow man to see the street view imagery for the current location or drag the icon to the correct location.


Google Maps shows small previews when you drag the icon so you can adjust the position. Street View opens in full-screen and the mini-window displayed at the bottom of the map can be maximized when you want to change the location.


Google Maps will probably add a new tab for the Google Earth plug-in, so this change will make the navigation consistent.


Here's a screenshot from June that shows the old interface:

25 comments:

  1. It looks like the saved locations have gone away. If so, that's pretty annoying. I'd built up quite a list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, that's weird. Now they're back! Maybe it had something to do with it being my first visit with the new UI.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh excellent - it fixes issues with some of the controls appearing in Firefox 3 as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Look at maps.live.com and check out the BIRDS EYE View....COME ONE GOOG Kick their butts!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Why did Google get rid of the pan-able/zoomable street view coverage overlay? You can temporarily see the coverage area when you drag the man around, but you can't zoom/pan.

    The UI designer needs to go back to UI 101: do not remove major features from a program without good reason (and the only good reason would be having coverage everywhere, which Google obviously does not have).

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Anonymous: What do you mean? I have no trouble panning and zooming in Street View... ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anyone know how to have this new interface on maps on your own website via the Google Maps API?

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ Mysterius
    what the first anon means is that you can no longer click the "street view" tab and see all the streets that have been photographed show up in blue and then pan an zoom around until for example you find where there is coverage. Now, you must drag that little man around to see if there is coverage in any area and while you're doing this, you cannot pan or zoom.

    I agree with anon 1, the removal of a major feature like that sux.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks great, but cannot "find business" anymore and that was a very useful tool for my work :(

    ReplyDelete
  10. It looks like they also added block numbers (house numbers) along the streets in Map/Satellite views. Or at least this is the first time I've noticed it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Street View coverage-in-blue feature is still available, if a bit hidden. Just drag the street view man over the map and you will get the blue highlighting.

    He is, however, a little hard to drop without going into Street View mode.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Also you can drag the man to the edge of the map to pan it. Kinda gimped, but works.

    ReplyDelete
  13. And, you can use the scroll wheel to zoom in/out while holding the man.

    I think this'll be my last comment. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. .. nope.

    You can also pan with the arrow keys while holding the man.

    ReplyDelete
  15. One more find. While in Street View, if you maximize the minimap you can pan/zoom that map and drag the man to new locations on it; when you do, the blue coverage highlighting appears.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Another change: a sponsored link appears below the map when searching for many cities outside the US (like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, Berlin)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very scary... Went to street view in my neighborhood and there's my car going down the street and into my driveway.

    I never knew they were behind me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well.. all my saved locations are still gone, which is extremely annoying, and when using Chrome, there isn't even this small grey triangle with the "show saved locations" option. :(

    ReplyDelete
  19. edit: Sorry, the triangle is there. I had to log out and in again.
    The saved locations are still gone, however. Maybe some people got them restored because they didn't write new ones when the old ones were missing... I added a couple of locations before I noticed that the old ones were gone.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really don't dig the new street view layout... I'm almost hating it.

    The old ballooned layout was much more pratical in showing both a decently proportioned street view and a lot of map view around it.

    Now the horizontally split pane layout si quite claustrophobic on my 900px tall widescreen notebook.
    The street view is ok if you face te direction of the road but yoI can't just get a decent view of the sides.
    Maybe it's optimized for a car-like point of view, but it's bad for looking around.

    It's also annoying to have so few vertical space in the map.

    Then, you maximize the street view, and you can't get rid of that map view in the corner... which is too small to actually aid navigation, but it succeed in getting in the way of the street view all the time.


    I think I'll eventually get used to the new interface, but it feels much more ankward than the old one. I'd wish you could opt for the old, or at least I hope they'll introduce the ability to customize the new one (resize the panes and change the split view to vertical when you need it, and resize/move around/toggle the map view in the fullscreen vew).

    Bad update, in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think the new Street View is a HUGE step backward. The original method of selecting SV images was very practical, the new version adds steps and is not comprehensive. Very bad move..

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm with Centennial.. Google has been on a trend of taking steps backwards lately by screwing up the surprised neatness of iGoogle and making expandable tabs on the side instead of nice neat ones along the top. I wouldn't mind it so much if it gave users the option to revert to older styles. The new Streetview is a crippled version of the original.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Google maps was better the old way, it ran ok on older machines. Gee, the liberals at Google who are so bent on the concept of "minorities" totally blow-off people that are in the minority that have older computers. Hardly any google product runs on a P3 machine anymore since all of their "updates" and "improvements". It takes a CRAY COMPUTER to run videos on youtube these days. Google is the worst when it comes to wasting screen real-estate. P.S. Google Image Search STILL shows only 20 results per screen with no option for more than 20 per screen. GOOGLE: Fix your EXISTING mickey-mouse limitations before you implement more fancy cr@p.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yes. Hope to see those features on Shownearby.

    ReplyDelete