The design of Google Maps doesn't get updated very often, so when it does, it's kind of a big deal. The latest tweaks are all about adding a bit more color to the interface and making things a little easier to pick out as a consequence. What you see will also be more relevant to the mode of transport you're using, too.
It makes sense for the items on the map to be more contextual. For example, if you're looking at driving directions, the map will show things like gas stations. You'll get train stations in transit mode, and so on. All points of interest should be a easier to identify at a glance thanks to the new color scheme, which you can see below.
There are more categories than before, and the shades used are rather more pastel-like, which might be divisive. I guess it'll be easier on the eyes, but maybe too much so for some. The place icons also have a defined tail now, which will make exact locations easier to pinpoint.
These changes will roll out to Maps and other Google products that use it over the next few weeks. Websites and apps that use the Google Maps API will also be updated, but that might take a little longer. Eventually, we'll see a consistent, pastel-shaded Google Maps wherever we look.