At the end of the Google Maps overview earlier today at the Google I/O preview, Brian McClendon stated that everyone could sign up for a preview at maps.google.com/preview. Unfortunately, this isn’t working right now, but users who want in on the fun can actually go to google.com/maps/preview.
This page is live right now, and users can sign in using their Google accounts to request an invite. According to McClendon, I/O attendees have immediate access to try out the new Google Maps, while invites for everyone else will go out tomorrow.
Some features of the new Google Maps include individual custom maps that are drawn around your interests and preferences. Google Now-style cards pop up on the left-hand side of the full-screen map with user reviews, Zagat reviews, and StreetView images of both inside and outside the venue. (Inside StreetViews are made by cropping together multiple user photos that have been uploaded to Google).
The maps will change and develop as you use them over time, multiple driving routes will now be displayed at the same time, and flights have even been integrated into the new Google Maps. Visually, you can expect a tight integration with Google Earth, including 3D buildings made from StreetView images and satellite imagery. Keep zooming out, and you’ll eventually get an image of a globe with real-time cloud images, correct constellations in their proper places, and even real time light/dark imaging in relation to the earth’s rotation and the sun.
This looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to try it out myself. To get your invite, just go to google.com/maps/preview since the URL given in the keynote was incorrect.