Google shows off new Maps; preview invites go out tomorrow

While some details about the next version of Google Maps leaked out on the Internet ahead of today's Google I/O keynote, the company did confirm that it will be offering some members of the public a chance to check out those new features starting tomorrow.

The Google Maps presentation confirmed that the new version will include satellite pictures that were taken originally for Google Earth. However, the keynote expanded on those reports to show that Google Maps can expand its view to show the entire planet from space, complete with real time clouds.

The Earth in Google Maps can also be rotated to show the night side of the planet, with glowing lights of cities. The stars in the background are also all in their correct positions relative to Earth.

Members of the general public can go ahead and sign up for the preview of the new Google Maps right now. The company also confirmed that it will be adding more and better recommendations for locations on a map, a way for people to upload their own images that could be used in Google Maps, and the retirement of the sidebar in favor of a new search bar inside the map.

Image via Google

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17 Comments

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a few years ago i would have been the first to sign up... but google's getting creepy lately and i really don't want them to gather any more data on me than my emails.

Master of Earth said,
Worst ever no 5.0 and new nexus 7. Flat out a failure for google.

Failure in your perspective. What made you believe that a new Nexus 7 was being announced? What made you believe that Android 5.0 was being previewed? Did it say that on your invitation?

My guess, Android 4.3 will be announced around WWDC; Nexus 7 HD will be announced on September/October as well as Android 5.0. It wouldn't even surprise me if Maps was released to the iPad after WWDC. Timing is everything for announcement. Hardware is better left during the holiday season.

Google Maps Preview is not a failure (beats any of Apples improvements to Apple Maps of that I am sure of. Also beats Microsoft's Bing Maps and Nokia Maps.)
Google Music Streaming Service is not a failure (beating Apple to the Punch. Let's face it, Microsoft has been horrible in the ecosystem thus far. Most people don't even know that they have a music service.)
Bringing Stock Android to the GS4 is not a failure.

You do know this is a Developer Conference not a Consumer Conference. Obviously this isn't meant for people with your lack of skills who are interested in hardware and software you use at the front end level. So you are telling me all those new APIs are failure? You are telling me that Microsoft and Apple have something better for developers? You are telling me that all those developers in the audience don't care about APIs that extend the functionality of Apps they build? Please enlightened me.

that my friends is what they call innovation. wonder what Microsoft's bing can say to this. i mean i love birds eye view since maps doesn't have it but this blows Bing out of the water

Ezekiel Carsella said,
that my friends is what they call innovation. wonder what Microsoft's bing can say to this. i mean i love birds eye view since maps doesn't have it but this blows Bing out of the water

Google has birds eye view. Unfortunately it's in select cities. I live in NYC so I noticed it right away.

The new Google Maps, Google Play updates, and Hangouts (cross-platform messaging) are great. I'm definitely considering making the switch to Android when the time comes. Right now, I'm not too happy about Microsoft's slow WP8 updates.

Slow? Really? Android is updated once in a few months and then with minor updates that bring no changes. My phone got 2 updates in 1 year.

... why I would consider switching from Windows Phone 8 Series or whatever that is called would be better OS, not looking like toddler-app for iPad