Today, Google teased a brand-new redesign of its indispensable and irreplaceable maps service (sorry, Apple Maps). There isn't a release date yet (you can sign up for an early access invite here), but there appear to be a slew of new features—including a slick new interface and Google Earth integration.
Travellers and vacationers should rejoice, as some of these will make getting around in unfamiliar places even easier.
Here are 5 things we're excited about:
1. Flight search!Sites like Hipmunk and Kayak have made price comparison between airlines and ticket sellers simpler, but being able to see flights mapped out and compare prices directly in line with other modes of transportation is the future.
2. More interactivity
Need to find a place to eat around your hotel? Just zoom into your current location and view all the restaurants nearby. Clicking on locations will filter the results by similar places, like, say, Thai restaurants.
3. Your photos
Your vacation photos can now appear wherever you took them. Creepy? Yes. Fun and useful? Also, yes. (We're used to Google being creepy by now, aren't we?)
4. Better transit maps
It appears Google is finally taking the guesswork out of choosing the right bus or subway. See the entire city's transit system laid out visually, and click on the line that makes sense for you.
5. Sentient Maps
Google Maps now promises to "get better" the more you use it, learning from your browsing, eating, and travelling habits. Skynet has become self-aware.