The revamped Google Maps service will be available for desktop browsers only at first.
Google says desktop users can sign up for the new site at maps.google.com/help/maps/helloworld/desktop/preview/ to gain access.
Flights comes to Google Maps
Put in two airports and you can see flight results. Results include links to buy flights.
Maps change based on places users have reviewed
According to the company:
As you search the map, star places you like and leave reviews. The map starts to adapt and can suggest things like restaurants you might enjoy or the quickest way home. In other words, the more you use Google Maps, the more helpful it becomes.
Users who tell Google about their home and office details, write reviews or choose favorite locations, can receive maps with recommendations of places they may like to visit. It tracks more than 100 million "places" currently.
The redesign could prompt the owners of restaurants and other local attractions to encourage their customers to star and review their locations on Google Maps in order to appear more prominently in users' results.
Clicking on a highlighted restaurant or other attraction produces a "card" with photos, user reviews, hours of operation, and other information.
The sidebar has disappeared.
The search box for Maps will trawl through a broader set of data, including destinations, ratings, reviews, and buildings that have volunteered to have their interiors mapped.