I need to vent. Because I can't find a place where I can actually contact Google and inform them how badly they have screwed up their Maps with their latest edition. I hate what Google has done to its Maps. I'm hoping someone at Google sees this, and begins the slow, painful process of arousing corporate awareness that they have screwed the pooch this time.
Now, let me interject here that Google deserves great praise and thanks for coming up with the idea of Street View in the first place. Especially since I cannot figure out how sending out a camera crew and recording and tech whizzes to drive all over the world can immediately boost Google's bottom line.
Before the "upgrade" to Google Maps, I spent many happy and fascinating hours traveling around the world, and visiting far off lands and cities I will probably never afford to really visit in my life. I especially enjoyed the Street View function, which allows you to see what's actually in a locale as if you were there yourself.
And Street View worked wonderfully in the previous edition of Maps. I would just move the roller wheel on my mouse to zoom in on the city or place I wanted to visit. If Street View was available, a little sort of stick guy icon appeared, and then I would zoom into Street View, and start looking around. If I wanted to see the intersection of Lincoln and Western in Chicago, I just zoomed right down to exactly where I wanted to be. I could type in an exact street address, and zoom down right to the very spot in the street in front of that address! It was awesome!
Griping, bitching, kvethcing, moaning and belly-aching continues below...
In the new edition, I can no longer zoom down to Street View. I zoom down as far as is allowed, then I search for the damn new icon that opens a bunch of boxes at the bottom of the screen. Each box has a photo of a street scene, and a line from the box to where that scene is supposed to be on the map. Clicking on the box takes you, finally, to Street View. Usually, it's not exactly where I want to be. And, usually, there is not even a box that goes to the exact spot I want to go to.
What ever programmers or team of programmers designed the awkward, annoying, and nearly useless process of using Street View ought to be deprived of all pizza and soft drinks for a full year! This is NOT an improvement! This is so annoying, I started looking at other maps on the tubez to find a replacement for Google Maps. Certainly not the result Google was planning for, I imagine.
And what's with all the new icons? Why do programmers think making new icons for functions, previously labeled in plain language, is an "improvement"? And then moving the icon or button or whatever animated gizmo they come up with, from the left side of the screen, to the right side, or from the top to the bottom, is an upgrade? Are these programmers seriously that deficient in normal human interaction that they don't realize people hate having to learn how to do the same old thing in a new way? Imagine if every few years, Ford and GM and Toyota and other automakers thought it would be cool to move the brake pedal to where the accelerator was, and the accelerator was replaced with a throttle where the console gear shift used to be? And to change gears, you now had to reach behind the seat and play the opening theme from Star Wars on a xylophone? Really, that's how irritating some of the "new and improved" software is. Software from BIG companies that should know better. (Are you listening, Microsoft? Your new version of Windows sucks mule turds!) Don't they do focus groups on this stuff before they release it to dazzle the general public with its bone-headedness?
Oh, by the way, Google, gmail suffers from this also. What's with having two left-pointing arrows within, like four of five inches of each other at the top of the screen. One arrow button is to return to the inbox, and the other arrow button is to reply to an email? The clown who came up with this design probably also had a hand in "upgrading" Google Maps, I bet. What's wrong with just using the damn word "REPLY"? I actually worry now that we are raising an entire generation of dolts who can't read a single damn word of English, but are highly skilled at programming mega-computers to such up every little tiddle, jot, and dot you and I ever punch into a keyboard or cell phone.
From future hearings of the House Oversight Committee:
Q. Mr. Heiferswallop, you admit to this committee that the NSA has recorded and stored the snores of every single American in every single bedroom in America?And while I'm roiling on a roll here, let me implore someone, anyone, who has control over The Emperor's Death Star, to please direct the death beam on the headquarters of Adobe, and put that company out of my misery. I am totally fed-up with how FlashPlayer and Reader slow down my PC and render it almost inoperable, until I kill them off in Task Manager. And yes, I've searched for solutions to excess CPU cycles and what not, and I'm plain tired of tickling the innards of my PC to try and make Adobe's inescapable software run smoothly. A software company should be responsible for making its software run properly, not me.
A. Yes, Representative Kisskeister. And more than that. We've got every single snore from everyone, whether they were in a bedroom or not. We got 'em if they were snoring in the back seat of an abandoned car. We got 'em if they were snoring under a bridge, or in a garbage dumpster. We got 'em all. We've got snores, belches, farts, yawns, prayers, curses, and some, uh, very arousing moans.
Q. And, Mr. Heiferswallop, you admit that you helped program this astonishing capability to detect, record, and store every single snore, belch, fart, and so on, anywhere, any time.
A. Yes, Representative Kisskeister.
Q. Mr. Heiferswallop, aren't you aware that this activity, in which you admit an active and ongoing part, is strictly prohibited under U.S. law, as explained in the letter we sent to your and your colleagues last month?
A. No, Representative Kisskeister. I'm sorry, I didn't read your letter. Well, can't actually. I can't read a single word of English. No one at NSA does, that I know of.
Q. Oh, well, then, I'm sorry to trouble you. Obviously, if you can't read the law, you can't be expected to obey it! You're dismissed.
7:21 PM PT: Thanks many times over to JeffW in the comments, who wrote that we can just toggle back to the old version. Jeff, I swear I could not find how to do so a few weeks ago!
For those who are also irritated with the new version of Google Maps, and want to switch back to the old version, I found the command by clicking on the little cog wheel near the bottom of the screen. If I recall, it was the left-most icon in the groups of icons at the bottom right. (I don't dare try to go back to the new version to confirm the location, or even that the icon is indeed the dreaded cog wheel. Bad things always seem to happen when I click on a little cog wheel icon.)
I will leave this diary up, for a few reasons. First, because I included a general rant about the inanity of most software "upgrades." Second, because hopefully someone with some actual responsibility for software development will read it, and begin to get an inkling that some people have reached the point they hold software engineers in about as low esteem as traffic engineers. And third, JeffW's comment is a wonderful example of how this community can get even the most mundane of problems quickly solved.