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Google gives Maps a lick of paint, smears it over screens worldwide

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Google is preparing to complete the rollout of its redesigned online Maps service.

The refreshed satnav-like site was debuted by the web king at its developer conference in May last year, and since then has been shown to some users around the world.

"Thanks to your helpful feedback, we're ready to make the new Maps even more widely available," the company said. "It’s now even easier to plan your next trip, check live traffic conditions, discover what’s happening around town, and learn about a new area."

The new web app features a updated user interface, and the integration of more of Google's vast stores of data directly into the maps themselves.

This means that information about transit routes and local businesses and restaurant ratings (from Google+, naturally) can be layered over the maps in response to search queries.

Last year Google tantalized Map aficionados with the prospect of live traffic results being integrated into the service after it acquired a mobile application named Waze, but this has not happened.

Though the Maps service is free, Google is making money from it through integrated advertising.

Recent Google earnings results have shown a steady decline in revenues on a per-ad basis as the rise of mobile devices reduces the value of ads due to lower click-through rates.

By redesigning Maps to incorporate more information, Google is hoping to display more adverts or promoted results directly within the map page, which is typically one of the more frequently used mapping services on handheld devices today.

"We're hoping that you're as excited as we are to navigate uncharted territory in pursuit of the perfect map," Google wrote. ®

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