Google Maps: Street View Guy Now Has Santa Hat; Different Layout

December 20, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Google Maps apparently changed its layout this week, while the small yellow Street View man was recently adorned with a red Santa Claus hat.

The Maps page took the left sidebar away and replaced it with a small search bar at the top left, while adding a few buttons on the bottom right. 

It doesn’t appear that the new Maps works for everyone, but that might be dependent on the browser.

A test with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Comodo Dragon showed the old Maps layout, while Google Chrome had the new one.

For Chrome users who don’t like the new layout, click on the small question mark at the bottom right near the gear symbol and the Santa hat-wearing Street View man. Then click on “Return to classic Google Maps.”

Other changes include a Satellite feature at the bottom left and a different zoom location.

In the new layout, Google says, “Welcome to the new Google Maps,” but it’s unclear when it was rolled out or if it will be applied to other browsers.