Big changes connected to Google Places seem not to end. The latest one is the disappearance of the My Maps tab and it turning into a “My Places”. This was pointed to me by Nikola Tsvetkov on Twitter and then it was confirmed by Google via their LatLong blog. The My Maps Help Center hasn’t been updated yet.
Now when one goes to Google Maps they would see the following message:
This seems to be yet another effort of Google to make a one-spot place for all their “local” products. The My Places tab unifies the created or saved Maps (from ex-My Maps), starred and rated Places. All these are ordered chronologically and as Google claims the reason why they made this change is:
Almost every day you encounter new places and businesses, whether it’s a new store you spotted on your commute to work, or a restaurant you visited with friends over the weekend. To date, you’ve been able to star places on Google Maps, rate them via Google Places, or add them to a customized map with your own icons and annotations through My Maps.
But keeping track of all the locations you care about and memorizing which places you starred or rated isn’t easy. So today, we’re unveiling the new My Places tab on Google Maps, which helps you quickly view and interact with your saved maps, starred locations, and rated businesses.”
The My Places tab looks like this:
Interesting is that Google seems to be pushing the rather very rarely used feature of “starring” a Place. When going to the “Starred” tab of My Places, if you haven’t starred any listing yet, you would see the following message:
You have no starred places.
Save places to easily find them later on your computer or phone. Try it: search for a place, then click the star next to its name.
The link leads to the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s Map. There are two funny things about that:
1) There are some unverified community changes for that Place
2) There are two (out of five!) “descriptive terms” that are rather irrelevant: “architect frank” and “stainless steel”; with another one being “esa-pekka salonen”
One could speculate that Google might start placing importance on that how many people have starred a Place page or to use again the Maps created by the community as a ranking factor.