Google Maps Upgrades?

While there’s been no formal announcement of it, it looks like Google Maps has had an upgrade; reports of various improvements are trickling in from around the web. Scavengeroogle notes a change in the magnification slider; Here Be Dragons and Slashdot note that other countries besides Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland now appear — it used to be that the countries included were surrounded by vast empty blue spaces — but it’s only the countries and their names, no further detail. From my end, I note that the names of Quebec municipalities, initially absent, now appear. Detail is improved here and there as well, though I can’t yet quantify it. If you’ve noticed something yourself, feel free to share in the comments.

Now that the whole world appears on the map side of Google Maps, it’s interesting to note that while the maps use a full Mercator projection, the satellite images use a cylindrical equidistant projection. I wonder how that’s reconciled when toggling between the two.