Last week, Alex Chitu at Google Operating System blog reported on some screengrabs that were apparently leaked from Google Maps. The images indicated that new Maps interfaces could be in the works, and it was supposed that these might be officially announced at Google I/O today or tomorrow. This morning, Mike Blumenthal reported on new Google Place Results pages that are rolling out in Europe and appear to be closely related in look and feel to the leaked images.
Compare a closeup detail of one of the leaked images on the left, with a screengrab I just took of the map portion of the results page showing up this morning on the right:
As you can see, the map location icons are white circles around red dots with white squares in the middle. Also, the leaked image map colors are parallel as well.
As Mike noted, these new results can be seen for a Places search by adding “&prmdo=1&tbm=plcs” name/value parameters onto the search URL querystring. The above result map I got on the right was a search for florists in Dallas, TX.
The other indicators that these new results may be related to the leaked images include more prominent photo images for the businesses listed:
I’m sure we may know more as the I/O developer conference progresses, and Search Engine Land will post additional coverage of the event.
Also, I intend to provide some analysis on the ramification of these potential changes in my Local Search article here next week. Stay tuned and hold onto your seats!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.