The "New" Google Maps

by: Adam

The enhanced Google Maps provides improved performance, richer 3D graphics, smoother transitions between imagery, 3D photo tours, 45° view rotation, easier access to Street View and more… so they say.

I don’t see how it is any better.  It’s more photo oriented – in that it looks more like a traveler’s photo book rather than images from the street.  Also, the 3D view is bologna.

If you type in a monument, such as the Arch of Constantine (it prompts you to during the tour of the 3D BETA), Maps will bring you down to ground level and gradually circle around the structure.  However, it’s not a very pleasant tour – it’s jerky, the background warps, and it is a mash of different photos in different lighting.  I wouldn’t consider it an improvement.

Furthermore, if you visit the Statue of Liberty, there’s a bird in one of the slideshow photos.  It looks really cheap and tacky.  There are only 4 pictures of the CN Tower, all from the same position, and – get this – the CN Tower is missing from one of them!

I looked up the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building and was disappointed.  From satellite view, they appear warped and upside down.  It’s a really uncomfortable angle to be looking at them.  I couldn’t switch the 45° view rotation tool.  It said it would prompt me if it was available for a monument, but it never did.  I considered those two monuments to be popular enough to be enabled for 45° view rotation; I guess not.

Once brought down to street view, I couldn’t see them any better than I could with the classic Maps.  There’s nothing new there.

There are a few new things from the classic Maps: extra work.  They want you to fill out information, add photos and streets.  Basically, they want you to create the new Maps.

I did find it interesting that I could visit the wreck of the Titanic, although there was only one picture of a door.  It doesn’t show you a picture of the bow or stern to get a decent scope of the wreckage.

But, what are you going to do?  It still gives directions, traffic, transit, weather, and all the regular goodies Maps offers.