As Google Maps turns 15 years old, the product is getting a slight overhaul with a new icon, new navigation tabs, and new features.
First, here’s the new icon. It’s a simple, Google-branded pin which replaces the old map intersection icon.
Google explains the design change in a blog post:
“It’s based on a key part of Google Maps since the very beginning—the pin— and represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences.”
Starting today, the Google Maps app for iOS and Android will have new navigation tabs at the bottom of the screen. These include:
- Explore: Quick access to information, ratings, reviews and more for nearby places.
- Commute: Set up your daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times, and suggestions for alternative routes.
- Saved: View all of your saved spots in one convenient place,
- Contribute: Quickly contribute to Google Maps by sharing local knowledge about roads, addresses, missing places, business reviews, and photos.
- Updates: This tab includes a feed of trending, must-see spots from local experts and publishers.
Google previewed some upcoming Maps features that will be rolling out in March. These include insights about your chosen route based on information contributed by other users.
After choosing a route, you’ll be able to see details such as:
- Temperature: Check if the temperature is considered colder or warmer than usual.
- Accessibility: Find public transit lines with staffed assistance, accessible entrance and seating, accessible stop-button or hi-visible LED.
- Women’s Section: In regions where transit systems have designated women’s sections or carriages, Google Maps will help surface this information.
- Security Onboard: Find out if security monitoring is on board—whether that’s with a security guard, installed security cameras, or an available helpline.
To make these features more helpful to everyone, Google Maps users will be invited to participate in a short survey about their experience on recent trips.
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt has an uncanny ability to make the most complex subject matter easy to understand. When he’s not ferociously following and covering the search industry, he’s busy writing SEO-friendly copy that converts.