#io13: New interactive Google Maps builds a world around users (video)

16 May 2013

Image via the Google Maps Blog

At its developers conference in San Francisco, California, Google unveiled its biggest ever update to Google Maps since it first launched eight years ago, creating a more personalised and interactive experience for users.

The new Google Maps interface demonstrated at I/O does away with the sidebar and makes all maps full-screen by default with additional information overlaid on the map view. The entire map is interactive, too, and updates as you use it.

For example, a search won’t bring up a list of places but instead will instantly label results on the map. Clicking on a location will then highlight the roads and routes most relevant.

This interactivity will become more sophisticated the more it learns about individual users, so in this way the new Google Maps will encourage users to engage more with Google’s services, rating locations and writing reviews.

The new Google Maps also better showcases the vast catalogue of imagery Google has from all over the world, from 360-degree panoramic Street View images, to integration with detailed 3D images from Google Earth (available only through WebGL-enabled browsers, like Chrome).


Though it was not announced when the new Google Maps will be made available to users, you can request an invite through a preview website.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.