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Google Maps changed colors and some people are upset, including a former designer

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Combo shows Google Maps old look and new updated design.

Courtesy: Google Maps

If you want to spark a good-hearted debate at the office water cooler, ask your coworkers what they think about the new Google Maps color scheme.

The new update, which has been out for weeks, was a lightning rod for online banter over the week of Thanksgiving travel. The prevailing opinion: People are mad about the new colors.

The roads are now gray instead of yellow and bodies of water are teal instead of a deeper blue. Parks traded in their green for mint.

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“It feels colder, less accurate and less human,” former Google Maps designer Elizabeth Laraki wrote on X (formerly Twitter) last week. Her post also highlighted ways she believed Google Maps could clean up its user interface.

“If you’re gonna go through such a significant shift that is very noticeable to people, it seemed an interesting choice to focus so much on making these very noticeable dramatic changes to the map tiles themselves but still leave all the crud on top of the map that is there,” Laraki told CNBC.

Laraki also said that it felt “more similar to Apple Maps coloring than Google Maps coloring.”

Laraki was not alone, as others took to X and Reddit to express their frustration with the new colors. Some agreed with Laraki’s stance on them being cold, while others were upset that there was not enough contrast between the new colors.

“We’re always thinking about how to make Google Maps more accurately reflect the real world. We designed our updates based on extensive research and feedback from users — with a goal of making the map easier to use and understand. For example, the roads are now darker to look more like actual roads and provide a better canvas for helpful details like lanes,” said a Google spokesperson in an email.

Laraki also said that it was a dramatic change to make without making a clear public statement about the reasons behind the new changes.

The online forums had a select few sticking up for the new update, though they were dramatically outnumbered.

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Google Maps has come out with a number of new updates over the last month, including new ways to find things to do and use emojis, however none have received as much opinionated attention as the new colors.



Source: CNBC

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