What Google Maps’ Color-Coded Makeover Means For Local Business

The new styles will be rolled out over the next few weeks in all Google products that incorporate Google Maps, including the Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto.

Google Maps has started to introduce a new look that promises to make it easier to turn general pins on a grid with a color-coded “cheat sheet” of icons that differentiate between restaurants, parks, services, entertainment, health, transportation, and more.

For example, if a user in a new neighborhood is searching for a coffee shop, they could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots), writes Liz Hunt, product manager, Google Maps, in a blog post describing the changes.

In addition to a visual revamp, Google Maps is also getting more “real-time” by highlighting road closures and local events happening at the moment a user is looking at a section.

Over the next few weeks, Hunt adds, all Google products that incorporate Google Maps, such as Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto, will feature the changes. Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well.

Among the other recent improvements Google Maps has ushered in this year include a method that paves the way for quicker communication between businesses and prospective patrons, as Google added a question and answer  feature to Google Maps this summer. The move that also appears set to take advantage of Google’s Local Guides, which helps correct and promote businesses’ info.

Before that, in the spring, Google enhanced the connections for booking and discovering nearby spas, salons, yoga studios, and more self-care through its Reserve With Google feature. The year-old feature became available through a dedicated site, as well as through search and Google Maps.

Google Maps’ updated look and tools will have a clear influence other mapping platforms. In terms of quantifying that influence, Google and Australian/Singaporean consultancy AlphaBeta recently noted that digital maps have supported roughly $1 trillion in sales by businesses.


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David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.