Last week we wrote about Google testing some new UI elements on Google Maps. Today these showed up for me (in Chrome, but not Firefox). Replacing static buttons for traffic, terrain, satellite and so on, the new controls and “legend” make the range of Google Maps features and content more discoverable. They also make Google Earth much more prominent and therefore accessible from within Google Maps.
Here’s the current array of buttons on Google Maps:
Here are some images of the new icons/menu:
There’s no new content here to my knowledge, its availability is just more prominent with the new icons and legend. Accordingly, Google Earth views on Google Maps may increase with the new display. This may coincide in part with the release of the upgraded Google Earth 6.