Google has made significant changes to the look and function of its Google Maps, which now uses the whole screen and ditches the service’s familiar sidebar.
The information that Google used to host on its sidebar is now more deeply integrated into maps, or right below the search bar that is now in the upper left-hand corner of the map.
The service has not yet rolled out to the general public, though the company has started offering limited invitations for people who want to give the new layout a try.
The new layout also incorporates more social information into the maps, giving users the ability to consult business reviews from people within their Google+ friend circles.
More parts of Google’s maps are also interactive. For example, if a user searches for a specific Chinese restaurant, information such as the restaurant’s address, phone number, Web site, reviews and a link to directions could appear in a small pane of information that drops down from the search bar.