Instead Google Map of clicking on the controls to pan left, right, in and out and so on, users could just use the new driving-wheel to move to the location desired. According to the patent, it “allows the user to rotate smoothly in all directions without incremental stops.”
More usefully, Google Maps is one of the best route finders available allowing you to generate directions from any two points on the globe. It uses your GPS data to plot where you are on a map, effectively making Google Maps a satellite navigation system. What’s more, if you flick on Street View from the Layers menu, you’ll be able to confirm that you’re on the right track.
I think perhaps the biggest challenge I face every time I load Google Maps is related to Street View—namely, pinpointing the exact location I wish to view, and navigating down streets using the arrows. Is there anything else you’d like to see changed in Google Maps or Street View? [Google patent via GoRumors]. Several commenters pointed out that the navigational controls are similar to that of Google Earth’s—something I hadn’t realized, as I can’t remember the last time I looked at it. It’s crazy that in this day and age, you still have to download it to your desktop—why not incorporate it into the Google Map browser along with Google Maps?