And many of the new colors made parts of the map less obvious and harder to see, especially the roads: It made little sense. And in addition to the color changes, Google also flattened the map – eliminating the coastline dropshadows it had added just a couple years ago and removing most of the road casings: If refactors are done to increase capacity, Google’s summer refactor seemed to have gone too far, leaving a lot of excess capacity.
And taken together, the changes made the map seem washed out. And the last time Google changed its cartography, it did so in the dead of Winter:. It almost seemed as if Google thought it wasn’t a big change.
According to Google Analytics, that essay has received more than 1,000 hits from computers on Apple’s corporate network, mainly Apple’s Sunnyvale and Cupertino campuses.
Yet nearly a year later, Patricia’s Green still isn’t green.
After all, without the refactoring, the new feature wouldn’t have been legible. Below, I’ve taken Google Maps’s old design (the But while it was easy to understand why Google had changed the background colors, the motivations behind the other changes were less clear.
Maps are frequently used outdoors, often in bright sunlight.
But it’s quite a different story on Google Maps: as the months went on, Google continued adding detail.
And Google now has a complete map of the park paths: The park above (Patricia’s Green) is the centerpiece of a vibrant and trendy neighborhood in central San Francisco, just blocks away from City Hall.
And San Francisco, of course, is Apple’s and Google’s backyard – if there’s anywhere each map is at its best, it’s likely San Francisco.
And it made me wonder what else would change, if we kept watching. And would Apple, like Google, also start making changes?
So I wrote a script that takes monthly screenshots of Google and Apple Maps.