Today around noon, Google, as part of a change across all of their forums, has upgraded the Map’s Help forums. The goal of the change is to make the system as descriptive as possible to avoid duplicate questions.
For a frequent forum visitor it dramatically slows down getting an overarching view of the activity and posts although with a click you can get to the All Discussions View. That being said it does provide a single view of all of my personal activity and all discussions on the forums so that I can get a better sense of the status of posts that have been updated.
Lost in the “upgrade” are links to the form to post spam reports for Google Maps as well as the links to the significant blog posts that Google has made in their Water Cooler Blog. The site has become much more hierachal with all links leading off of the main Maps Help Page linked from Maps. Unfortunately once you head into the forums, there is no direct path back to the critical tips in the blog or easy way to file a spam report.
Time will tell whether typical users will get the information they more quickly. Regardless, the nature of problems in the Maps’ forum are such that without more Google staff intervention many of the questions still can not be answered.Google "upgrades" Maps' Forums by Mike Blumenthal