Mixed reactions to Google Maps’ new look: Users disappointed in cartographic changes

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NEW YORK, Nov 27, (Agencies): In a recent update, Google Maps introduced a revamped color scheme that includes a distinct appearance for parks and city blocks. However, it’s the alterations to the road maps that have sparked discontent among online users.

Google Maps unveiled a new color scheme with distinct features for parks and city blocks.

Previously, highways and freeways were prominently displayed in bright yellow against a white grid. The new update presents all roads in various shades of gray, with major thoroughfares like Interstate 80 and Highway 1 appearing darker and more pronounced. This modification has triggered mixed reactions, with some users expressing disappointment in the cartographic changes.

Raynell Cooper, an employee at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, voiced his discontent on X (formerly known as Twitter), describing the new look as “cartographically disappointing.” He emphasized that major local roads and limited-access highways are now challenging to distinguish.

TechRadar provided a side-by-side comparison of the old and new color schemes, quoting a Reddit user who found the updated version less readable. Some users on platforms like Reddit and X criticized the new color scheme, describing it as “shockingly bad” and stating a preference for the previous bright and cheery yellow roads.

Additional criticisms emerged, with users noting challenges in differentiating water from land due to a closer shade, making it harder to discern quickly. A post on X from designer Elizabeth Laraki, who claimed to have contributed to Google Maps’ design 15 years ago, expressed dissatisfaction with the updated visual design, describing it as colder, less accurate, and less human.

The criticism extended to the clutter on the map, with a missed opportunity to simplify and scale. Blogger John Gruber suggested that Google Maps should have taken cues from Apple Maps in terms of app design. The debate around Google Maps’ recent visual changes continues among users and tech enthusiasts.

This news has been read 733 times!

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