Google is in the process or rolling out cleaner maps to Google Maps in an attempt to show more relevant information to users without overcrowding. You'll notice certain elements going away, but there is one new thing coming to your maps—areas of interest. If Google thinks there's some cool stuff in a particular area, you'll see it highlighted on the map.
The new maps will emphasize different labels and elements (right above). For example, road outlines are not shown in most views, and the color palette has been revamped to make it easier to identify places like schools, parks, and so on. In general, I feel like the new maps have lower contrast for roadways, but they show more small details. It's not like you can't make out a highway that's a few shades lighter anyway.
The new "areas of interest" will show up on maps as an orange shaded area. This represents an area where Google's algorithm has detected a high concentration of locations you might want to know about. If you zoom in, the area will resolve into individual places like bars, restaurants, and shops. The new maps should show up on desktop, Android and iOS starting today.
- Google Maps blog