Google Maps is making headlines in a variety of ways this week.

A Jan. 10 update to the Android application made noise at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show yesterday. The Google Maps upgrade claimed to increase battery life while improving location tracking within Google Latitude.

The latest version Google Maps also improved Transit Navigation and more closely estimates location position when GPS signal is lost. The update even increased the number of possible transit routes from three to four.

The final update includes indoor maps that can —well— navigate around various indoor venues in the United States. In this particular update, maps for CES in the Las Vegas area were included (hence all the commotion).

“We hope that these indoor maps will come in handy when finding your way through the slots and to the shops,” announced Google on its LatLong blog. “And for those of you who catch gadget-fever with CES in town, we’ve also partnered with a number of Best Buy stores in the Las Vegas area.”


More information on the updates are available below.

The app’s description cited “free, voice guided GPS navigation system,” “find, rate, and get recommendations for places,” and “see friends on the map and check in at places” as a few of the noteworthy features included with Google Maps. The app currently has over 1 million customer reviews and a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on the Android Market.

For a more detailed list of indoor maps and partners, visit Google’s live demo website.

Google also teased its upcoming Google Maps game at CES. Information on this latest offering is slim, but the search engine did announce that Google+ Games teamed with Google Maps to create “Play Your World” powered by WebGL. A preview of the game is available below.


In other news, the official Google Blog announced a new addition to Google Maps’ Street View feature today that lets users explore places around the world through 360-degree street-level imagery.

The update includes complete visual maps of Waseda University, University of Glasgow and Stanford University. Google’s Street View University Partners’ website offers a complete list of colleges that participate in the search engine’s partnership program.

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