On the 8th of February 2020, Google Maps turned 15 years old, marking a decade and half of telling us which route to use and recalculating to allow us beat traffic.
In celebration of its 15th Anniversary, Google rolled out a new icon and other changes in terms of features and design.
The biggest change visible would be the redesign of the Maps icon as it moves from the Classic map intersection to a Google-Hued pin on a white background, which matches Google’s branding.
Here is a video by Google maps to introduce its new logo.
The Google Maps app itself is also getting a slight change, with two added tabs at the bottom: the update adds “contribute” and “updates” tabs, and replaces the “for you” tab with a more focused “saved” tab.
Moving away from the changes introduced for the anniversary and touching based on our day-to-day interaction with the map, most people would complain of maps leading them to dead ends especially when using any of the ride-hailing platforms (Uber, Bolt, Yango and others).
Is it just me that wonders why these Uber and Bolts drivers would still have to call to find out where you are when they see exactly where you are requesting the ride from? And how about the drivers that deliberately pick a ride which is far from their current location and expect one to wait aloof.
In recognition of the successes chalked by Google Maps, let us recall some amazing happenings that involved the maps.
In August 2019, the remains of Florida man William Moldt which disappeared in 1997 was found. This was as a result of an individual perusing Google Maps’ satellite images and noticed a car deep in a lake. This car after reported to officials turned out to be Moldt’s with his body in. Here
Another news item in 2017 regarding Google maps was one that saw an Australian man’s home was mistakenly pinned as a pop-up pizzeria which then saw numerous visitors trooping to the location to either ask if they were opened or inquire of any job vacancy. Here
Another major happening regarding Google Maps with the last couple of years would be the renaming of Trump Tower in New York as Dump Tower in November 2016 by one of Google’s employee. Here
And the most recent happening in 2020 was when a Berlin-Based artists Simon Weckert in a performance piece dragged 99 phones in a handcart on an empty street over and over again which the generated false traffic jam on Google Maps live traffic update feature. Here
Notwithstanding these occurrences, we cannot downplay the significance of Google Maps in our lives over the years and how it has actually made commuting on our roads better than before a decade ago.
My personal experiences have been mostly using google maps to locate a building I am not very familiar with I get to about 500m range. What has being your experience with google maps? Let discuss that in the comments below.