After a lot of hard work and lots of iterations, we have just launched brand new map and hybrid tiles on Google Maps!
I wrote a blog post about it on the Google Lat Long blog:
"Today's changes are intended to keep the same information-rich map while making it easier to pick out the information that is most useful. The changes affect both the Map and Hybrid styles, and include numerous refinements to colour, density, typography, and road styling worldwide."
Marissa Mayer also posted it on the Google Blog:
"We have updated the way that maps render on Google Maps, and it is our biggest change in almost 5 years. The changes are subtle but significant. The blog post with the announcement has some very interesting before and after examples. The impetus of this change is to improve usability and readability and literally help people find where they are going faster — our goal both on the web with search, and in the physical world with maps."
Irene Au tweeted it:
"Evolving the look of Google Maps (congrats Jonah!)"
A glowing review from TechCrunch:
"...looking at the side-by-side images, it’s clear to see that the new look is much nicer. Gone is much of the clutter caused by darkened street outlines... subtle, but much better."
Google Watch: "Google Maps' Biggest Little Refresh for Map, Hybrid Styles"
"Jones posts more Maps changes on the Maps blog here, but you can see where Google is going with this: disambiguation between topographical components leads to better usability, which will keep Maps users from going elsewhere and could even bring more Maps users to the fold via word of mouth. That will be crucial at a time when Yahoo, Microsoft, and maybe even Apple are vying for users with their own map programs."
Bubble Foundry: "This is why Google Maps is so good"
Check out the blog post Google LatLong: Evolving the look of Google Maps and I’m sure you’ll agree that Google Maps is by far the most usable and aesthetically pleasing online mapping service out there.
Comment on TechCrunch:
"Wow! The new look is much easier on the eyes. It seems so cluttered when you look at the old images of Google maps. Google did a good job on this one. Two thumbs up"