July 19th, Google today pushed out some user interface improvements to Google Maps designed to make the map cleaner, more focused, more visually harmonious, and easier to use.
"Some changes highlights to look out for are a brighter and more cheerful color palette, a more integrated and less visually noisy labeling style, subtle improvements to footpaths and minor roads, and cleaner building and land parcel rendering," Google stated.
Google says, "Most of these improvements, are gentle enough that many people won't even notice the difference until you add them together. For example compare how maps of New York looked in 2009, then again the same time in 2010, and now with the new tiles for 2011. The improved colour scheme and less jarring label outlines help the labels to feel part of the map, as opposed to a distracting overlay. It's also easier to distinguish the city name, neighborhoods, and roads through subtle changes in label color," explains Google:
"The visually heavy highway shields are now integrated into the road labels, and the brighter and cleaner style shifts the focus onto the road names and prominent landmarks in the area." London is one place that benefits from this:
"The style evolution has enabled us to place more information whilst still making the map feel simpler. In the case of Sydney, thinner and cleaner roads, better representation of tunnels, more subtle footpaths in the parks, and more subtle labeling all contribute," Google added:
[Source: Lat Long blog]