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Google Maps gets makeover with new colors and icons

The tech giant and cartographic colossus spruces up the Maps interface to make things easier to spot.

OK, poetry lovers, here's that Wednesday afternoon Google Maps verse you've been jonesin' for:

Health care is red
Shopping is blue
Does retail therapy get its own color too?

Before you start scratching your head and muttering wtf, here're the CliffsNotes...

Google revealed Wednesday that it's going color-coding crazy in Maps. The tech titan is updating the Maps color scheme and adding new icons so you can more easily suss out points of interest. As Google helpfully puts it in a pithy online post:

"Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it's easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you're in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots)."

The company says it's also updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore sections in Maps to better point out the info most relevant to each section (train stations get greater emphasis in the transit section, for instance).

The new hues and icons will start showing up during the next few weeks in Google Assistant, Search, Earth, Android Auto and other products that use Maps. Eventually they'll also crop up in third-party apps and sites that use Maps.

In the meantime, you can practice your Maps orienteering with a handy cheat sheet that Google's provided. Here's a sample:

Google Maps colors
Google Maps icons 1
Google Maps icons 2
All images: Google

The rest of the slides are available here. Happy hunting.

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