Directions Web Service is a companion to existing Geocoding and Elevation Web Services, and allows apps to obtain Driving, Bicycling, and Walking directions through an XML/JSON REST interface. All Maps API v3 Directions service features are supported, including “avoid highways”, “avoid tolls”, and waypoint optimization (travelling salesman solver).
Places Web Service, Nearby Places Widget preview is a user interface element that’ll launch in API v3. It combines W3C Geolocation API with location based Place search to present user with list of Places in immediate vicinity. User can select a Place which Maps API app can use as a check-in, or to tag content supplied by user. App can also obtain more detailed info about the Place, such as address, telephone number, and Place Page URL. Places web service will allow developer to offer search for nearby places in a native mobile app through an XML/JSON REST interface. Booyah are using this new web service within their MyTown mobile gaming app.