While my December investigation uncovered the reasons behind Google Maps’s superior label readability, it did little to explain why Google Maps’s cities actually seem to “pop” from the maps. Different label classes, bright white outlines, and the decluttering of cities outside of major metro areas all account for Google’s superior label readability—but they fail to explain why cities seem to “stand out just a little sooner” on Google Maps.
I’ve long suspected that there was something else at work on Google’s maps, but I haven’t been able to put my finger on it… that is, until now. In retrospect, my December investigation was so fixated on text labels, that I missed something big… something really big. And it has nothing to do with text.
via 41Latitude – Google Maps & Label Readability — Part 3. Interesting in how little things add up to really improve your experience.