I was just looking at directions for an appointment I have in about 45 mins and Google invited me to take a look at New Google Maps and it looks like Sophie's recent post about local search was even more prescient than she thought.
At first glance it looks like it's going to integrate Google+ Circles, Google Local Reviews, Google Maps, Google Streetview and Google Earth a lot more usefully.
Reviews are better.
It's sorting my searches by Top Reviewers or Reviews by people in my Circles on Google+:
Not sure how it defines a top reviewer, but social authority is likely to be key there.
Reviews of a specific business are easier to find
Just click the business name on the map and the reviews link appears in the info bar.
Not good news for estate agents is my guess. When you're looking for directions to a specific estate agent, you'll be able to click their name and see reviews... I'm selling my house at the moment. I've an axe to grind and Google, by Jimminy, you're going to let me grind it good!
Reviews are supported by 'Info Cards'
Show special offers and other cool things, right there in the new Google Maps.
Reviews in Google Earth? Um, OK.
You can see Google reviews in Google Earth. Not sure what benefit that is right now, other than I presume than when Google does a deal with a car manufacturer or Garmin or TomTom for the provision of marked up maps, that will drive a lot of foot traffic.
I've gotta stop exploring and get off to this meeting. You however, should check out Sophie's blog post on Local Search and check out Moz and check out Search Engine Land and get your local search on!