I get inordinately excited about any developments with mapping apps because I'm deeply dependent on them. I have a sense of direction that's very bad. Like, nearly Oliver-Sacks-anecdote level bad (After five years working in the same building, I still sometimes get lost on the way to work.)
Unfortunately, on first blush the new Google Maps seems mostly designed to sell you more stuff. For instance, in addition to plotting routes via foot, car, train, or bike, you can now map an airplane route. Why add this? Because it allows Google Flights to sell you plane tickets. Besides that, I'm not sure what the utility of planning a Google maps airplane route is, unless you're a stunningly dilettantish pilot.
Elsewhere, the new upgrade brings Event Listings for venues (buy tickets!), icons for local businesses (buy local goods!), and improved real time traffic data (which I have to admit is actually pretty useful.)