Google has just rolled out a slew of minor updates to Google Maps — changing road colors, outline colors, number of roads shown at each zoom level, etc.
TechCrunch summarized it best:
…unless you spend hours looking at Google Maps everyday, you probably aren’t going to realize when a road outline has been toned down, for example. But looking at the side-by-side images, it’s clear to see that the new look is much nice. Gone is much of the clutter cause by darkened street outlines.
Google’s description of the changes:
Today’s changes are intended to keep the same information-rich map while making it easier to pick out the information that is most useful. The changes affect both the ‘Map’ and ‘Hybrid’ styles, and include numerous refinements to color, density, typography, and road styling worldwide. For example, in map view, local and arterial roads have been narrowed at medium zooms to improve legibility, and the overall colours have been optimized to be easier on the eye and conflict less with other things (such as traffic, transit lines and search results) that we overlay onto the map. Hybrid roads have gained a crisp outline to make them easier to follow, and the overall look is now closer to an augmented satellite view instead of a simple overlay.
It seems to be a great little upgrade. Check out the gallery below to see a bunch of before/after shots provided by Google.