Google’s Map Icons

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New Zealand’s site has a quick article on Patrick Hoffman, user experience designer for Google Maps.  As part of his role, Hoffman is responsible for the designs of the icons used on Google Maps.  Some of the more challenging icons included making one symbol for places of worship that would cover churches, temples, synagogues and mosques.  “[Hoffman] opted for an icon that drew on common architectural features of religious houses but that was criticised for being too close to certain religions. Now, where it can, Google uses different symbols to indicate different places of worship.” Other challenges included stadium icons that don’t look like a dog’s water dish, and finding a way to symbolize hospitals since the original red cross is a breach of the Geneva Convention according to the Red Cross.

Read more: Google Map symbols headache for creator

This past week Google announced the branding of icons for  local businesses.  The program is in beta for the United States after a pilot run last March in Australia and New Zealand.

Now, when you zoom in to areas of interest on Google Maps, you’ll more easily be able to spot the locations of companies and brands that are already familiar to you. That’s because we’re working with business owners to enable them to replace the standard icons that appear on the map at their business locations with their well-known company logos. These logos appear directly on the map when you zoom in to see a close-up view of an area.

Read more: More easily find some of your favorite businesses right on the mapGoogle LatLong

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