The entire Google maps leadership team should be fired.
Google is in the (almost) unique position of having outstanding cartographical data, satellite imagery, realtime traffic information, and access to user searches and email.
They could have built an incredible mapping platform with hierarchical point and route storage and sharing, GPX import/export, realtime location sharing (ie. latitude), advanced planning, map overlays, user reporting on traffic incidents/roadblocks/radar..
A year ago, they seemed to be heading in this direction.
Instead, they've slowly been stripping away the features they had that made it useful.
I remember looking upon the Google Maps iPhone app 6 months ago in horror. How do I send my own location? How do I see a topographical view? Why do selected locations snap to the nearest road? Why can't I measure distance, or plan a route in advance? Why can't I save a place, and give it a different name? I laughed, smug in the superiority of my Android version. I thought nice play, Google.. way to stick it to iPhone users, and offer them a compelling reason to switch to Android!
Little known to me at the time, my preferred platform would suffer the same fate. The abomination that was Google Maps on iPhone was ported, and pushed out to Android as well! Now who's laughing, right?
I am literally dumbfounded. Android's old maps application (6.14) was good. Not perfect, but good. The new version is laughable. No more latitude. No more labs. No more topographical maps. No more realtime transit navigation. No zoom buttons for one-handed use. No dedicated navigation button. No arrows pointing the direction of each search result. Bizarre, distracting user interface with clunky "3D" wipes. Still can't share your current location.
It doesn't surprise me at all that they're starting to remove features from the new Maps for web.
I'm almost certain that it's a move to convert the platform from data to advertisement. Less focus on what is actual (corner of 5th and E17th), and what is sponsored (Feel like McDonalds? Here are some locations!). I only hope that competition moves in to eat their lunch, and everyone who was involved in gutting it is offered a package.