Refining the Google Maps tiles for Japan

Today the Google Maps team is excited to announce that we are releasing a number of improvements to the look and feel of the map for Japan. This redesign is intended to provide our users with an easier to read and more beautiful map, and to help them find the geographic information they want more quickly.

We’ve given a lot of thought to the visuals used to present the multi-faceted information on the Japanese maps, and have arrived at a refined set of style updates for the typography, iconography, colors and line styles.

A picture speaks a thousand words, so here is an example to show you the new and improved style. Unlike western countries, most Japanese roads do not have names. Instead, the cities are organized with a hierarchical block system. In our new design, the more legible font treatment helps the user to distinguish localities, points of interest and transit stations:

As there are limited street names, landmarks are also an important element for street navigation. The traffic lights, points of interest and prominent local businesses can now be read and found more easily thanks to newly designed icons:

We hope you like the revamped look of Google Maps for Japan, and that it improves your ability to quickly and easily find your way!

Zhou Bailiang, User Experience Designer, Google Maps