Today, Google announced the redesign of the Street View feature in Google Maps. Many improvements and new gadgets have been made, making Street View a little more fun. The new star of Street View is Pegman! Hooray!
- The Street View button has been replaced with an image of Pegman on the left control bar in Google Maps. Whenever Street View is available, he appears. Whenever Street View is not available, his image turns grey.
- Instead of a new placemark appearing with Street View, a full-screen mode replaces the map, making Street View less cluttered. This full-screen mode includes an "x" button in the upper-right corner for exiting Street View.
- A small thumbnail map appears in the lower-right corner of the Street View. Clicking the arrows will take you to a new split-screen mode, showing the Street View on top, and the map on the bottom.
- The navigation wheel from Google Earth now has a cousin in Google Maps. The N points north, even in Street View. You can drag the outer part of the wheel to adjust your viewing angle. The arrows will pan the view around, and the magnifying glasses will zoom in and out.
- Zooming in very close to a street will take you into that point's Street View.
- The copyright is hidden in the lower-left corner, along with the link to reporting inappropriate imagery.
- When dragging Pegman around the screen, hovering over a spot on the map will reveal a thumbnail preview of that spot's Street View.
- The embedded version of Street View also has many new features.
View Larger Map
Here are some benefits with the new layout.
- Google Earth and Google Maps are much more similar, so if one user uses one, it should be easy for him/her to use the other.
- The blue highlights only appear when searching for a Street View location (dragging Pegman around the screen). This makes the blue highlights much easier to use.
Here are some problems with the new layout.
- Newbies to Google Maps might not know what that little yellow man might be for.
- Some computers might not be able to handle the full-screen Street View very well, which could make it run slowly.
- Google Maps is becoming more cluttered with more gadgets, taking up more space. If Google keeps adding new things, newbies might need a manual just to get around the map.
- With all the new stuff, there is more probability for errors and/or crashes.