gmaps

Google have announced a newly redesigned desktop version of their popular mapping service Google Maps, set for release later this year.

With Maps having launched eight years ago, the redesign is one of the service’s most significant. Rebuilt from the ground up, most of the user interface features have been removed and the new Maps looks more akin to its iOS sibling given the minimalistic design, which seeks to personalise the product for users more.

To do so the revamp has brought on a number of new features, from prioritising the names of locations a user has frequently searched for via any of Google’s services (e.g. YouTube) to highlighting restaurants and other businesses that a user’s friends on Google+ have reviewed positively.

In a bid to make the product more attractive to advertisers the service now overlays brand new icons that highlight businesses with ads and promotions. Previously companies using a pay-per-click marketing campaign on Google Maps were represented on Maps with a blue pin as opposed to the red one used for standard businesses.

Now the names of businesses are shown on the map, with a blue shopping-tag icon next to one if it has a deal on. By bringing up cards to highlight business details and offers when selected the company hopes the product as a whole will become, “more engaging.”

Those interested in test driving the revamped Google Maps can sign up through the preview page. In the meantime take a look at the introduction video below.