Google today announced a major update to its Maps service for desktop which brings back the virtual guide – Pegman – in for Street View and introduces Earth Tour feature amongst other updates. This update brings another significant set of changes to the all new Maps that Google had introduced earlier this year. In addition to the desktop updates, Google has also added live traffic information from Waze, a company it acquired earlier this year, for navigation both on desktop and mobile.
Google has added a number of enhancements to Street View to make it more user-friendly and interactive. Firstly it has revived its iconic Pegman, a yellow colored figure that guides Google Maps users to Street View. With Pegman, users can now easily see Street View supported areas highlighted on the maps. The Pegman also helps in looking at the user-uploaded photos including ‘photo spheres’ highlighted in blue circle, or to see inside tourist attractions, restaurants, business centers and other such places, which will be circled in yellow. Street View now also gets an all new step-by-step preview feature to show snapshots or photos of the place one is heading towards, or the route one is taking. This will give preview of the route and help users know what is coming ahead on the routes.
Along with the Street View update, Google has also added a new Earth Tour feature to desktop Maps, which is more or less like the tour guide feature on maps for mobile. It offers a virtual tour including 3D views of a place in Google Maps, however is only available in WebGL-enabled browsers.
Last but not the least, the Google Maps for desktop will now also integrate traffic data reports powered by Waze. This will include information about the traffic conditions, incidents, blocked roads, zones of construction and more.