If you use Google Maps, get ready: It’s going to have a new look very soon.

After nearly a full year of public beta testing, Google announced Wednesday its new maps feature will be made available to the masses.

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Image via Gigaom

According to Engadget, the new Maps gets rid of the old sidebar and instead puts search results directly on the map. It also incorporates real-time traffic data and a street-view carousel to help virtual tourists.

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Image via Engaget

The new features won’t hit everyone’s computers at once, Google said in a blog post.

“Over the coming weeks, the new Google Maps will make its way onto desktops around the world. 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.”

The maps appear a bit larger and easier to read and, according to Gigaom, the new design places an emphasis on being “smart”: users not only can bring up directions to a location, but also find the most efficient method of transport to get there using the real-time traffic reports, as well as nearby places to stop.

Google has also enhanced the street-view mode, which is helpful to view routes and virtually sight-see ahead of time. Below is a clip from of Google Map execs Jonah Jones and Bernhard Seefeld discussing the new Maps.

(H/T: Gigaom)

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