Google Showed off a brand new version of the web-based Google Maps a couple days ago at Google I/O. At that time, access to the new maps was restricted to those who chose to sign up for an invitation. Those invitations started to roll out yesterday afternoon. If you requested an invitation, check your email and see if there’s one waiting for you.
We’ve gotten very used to the now-old version of Google Maps, but the new version doesn’t require you to learn everything over again. The changes Google made to Maps are mostly cosmetic. Maps is cleaner now and looks mores spaced out in order to make finding destinations easier. For example, there’s a search box in the upper left hand corner of the screen. If you were to type “Shell” and press enter, you’ll see a red circles on the map from places that contain that word. Clicking on that location will bring up user reviews, its website, phone number, business hours, directions and photos taken at the establishment. You can also immediately jump into street view.
Google Maps also changes dynamically as you use it. When you click on a place on the map, it’ll change to highlight landmarks and the best roads you need to take to get there. If you choose to star places as favorites or write reviews, Google Maps will begin to learn your interests and highlight locations it thinks will be of interest to you.
Google also added Google Earth to Maps so you can zoom all the way out to space and see the clouds on the Earth in real-time. An enhanced 3D view also lets you visualize your way through areas with lots of buildings.
Overall, this is a nice upgrade.
Source [Google Latitude Blog]