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New Google Maps out of beta and ready to roll

After months of feedback and testing, the new Google Maps is finally ready for primetime.

The next-generation mapping solution will be rolling out to desktops around the world over the next coming weeks, Google announced on Wednesday.

"Many of you have been previewing it since its debut last May, and thanks to your helpful feedback we're ready to make the new Maps even more widely available," Google Maps vice president Brian McClendon wrote in a blog post.

"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 — with Pegman's help if needed."

With the new version, you can search for "coffee" in your neighborhood, for instance, and you'll see all the nearby places where you can get a cuppa, as well as their star rating. When you click on a café, the map will suggest related results you may not have known about.

Meanwhile, when you're trying to get from point A to point B, the map will now help you find the most efficient route — whether you're driving, biking, or taking the train. All your options will be laid out on the map, including the time and distance for each route. There's also real-time traffic reports and Street View previews to help you find your way and arrive on time.

The update also marks the return of Pegman, who you may remember from the old Google Maps. The little yellow man lives in the lower-right corner of your screen; click on him, and the areas with Street View imagery will light up in blue.

"Rich imagery takes you to notable landmarks, sends you flying above mountains in 3D, and gives you a sneak peek of businesses you plan to visit," McClendonwrote. "The new 'carousel' at the bottom of the map makes all this imagery easy to access, so you can explore the world with a click."

He warned, however, that as with any product redesign there may be "bumps along the road." If you spot any issues or have suggestions, you can send feedback directly to Google.