A cleaner look
The world is full of information, which means highlighting necessary info on the map without overcrowding it is a balancing act. So as part of this update, we’ve removed elements that aren’t absolutely required (like road outlines). The result is a cleaner look that makes it easier to see helpful and actionable information like traffic and transit. And we’ve improved the typography of street names, points of interest, transit stations, and more to make them more distinguishable from other things on the map, helping you navigate the world with fewer distractions.
Areas of interest
The cleaner canvas also lets us show local information in entirely new ways. As you explore the new map, you’ll notice areas shaded in orange representing “areas of interest”—places where there’s a lot of activities and things to do. To find an “area of interest” just open Google Maps and look around you. When you’ve found an orange-shaded area, zoom in to see more details about each venue and tap one for more info. Whether you’re looking for a hotel in a hot spot or just trying to determine which way to go after exiting the subway in a new place, “areas of interest” will help you find what you’re looking for with just a couple swipes and a zoom.
We determine “areas of interest” with an algorithmic process that allows us to highlight the areas with the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and shops. In high-density areas like NYC, we use a human touch to make sure we’re showing the most active areas.
A more subtle and balanced color scheme
The new Maps has a subtle color scheme to help you easily differentiate between man-made or natural features, and quickly identify places like hospitals, schools or highways. In case you’re curious, here’s a key showing what each color on the map represents.
Posted by Zhou Bailiang, UX Designer, Google Maps and Mark Li, Software Engineer, Google Local