Several items of note.
1- Firstly Google has announced in the forums that the new Places for Business Dashboard is now available for NEW users in UK, Ireland. It is nice to see this staring to roll out internationally. That being said the rate of conversions of existing dashboards is not at all clear. None of mine seem to have converted. Yours?
2-Joel Headley of Google noted at today’s Local U in New Orleans that Google was no longer deleting listings from their local index that failed to hide their address. He indicated that Google was flagging them, apparently with no ranking penalty, for later automatic removal of the address if the owner failed to hide it. This solution seems vastly superior to the fiasco of businesses being permanently deep sixed into the hell of “currently we do not support” for the infraction
3- Google is currently testing a soon to be rolled out revamp of the Maps interface. Barry Schwartz noted at SEL:
The new interface is a complete and major overhaul of the current Google Maps user interface. The design and interface changes touch everything from the map colors, icons and text formats to dropping the navigation elements on the left hand side and adding in Google+ integration.
For example, you can filter local search results specifically to friends in your Google+ circles. The navigation seems to have been moved to button like methods, similar to how mobile apps work, with ad overlays hovering below the navigation menus.
4-First noted by Pete Meyers and equally interesting is is the increasingly seen display of the the carousel results for Hotels and Restaurant categories around the US.