Google Maps Directions Get Facelift


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A service that has helped millions of people reach their destinations - and inspired at least one misguided (and lawsuit-happy) woman to take a stroll alongside a highway lacking a sidewalk - has received an overhaul.  Directions calculated by Google Maps are now more colorful, and perhaps more clear.

Fair warning: the new design definitely moves away from Google's tradition of minimalism.  Bright pictures and dotted lines may accompany the directions for any given route, and it takes a moment to adjust to interpreting them rather than just reading text.

Still, a post on the LatLong Blog pointed out, "It's now simpler than ever to switch transport modes, change the time/date of your trip, get a high-level overview comparing different routes, and view details of a single trip at-a-glance."

You can see a sample set of directions meant to feature all these improvements below.  Don't worry if it looks a little bare, either.  The blog post explained, "Clicking on any step will also display more information.  For example, we now show the stop preceding the one where you'll need to get off, so that you can get your bags ready and prepare to disembark.  And we've introduced turn-by-turn direction indicators for walking, driving and cycling."

Hopefully all of this will lead to fewer missed turns/exits.  Maybe greater at-a-glance usability, too, so that individuals don't have to take their eyes off their surroundings for long.

In any event, Google promised that more changes are on the way, so be sure to speak up about your likes and dislikes.