Dear Forum, dear Nick!
If my memory serves right, the "Nick Springer digital map designs" at Microsoft had quite an impact. Encarta, Mappoint, offline navigation products before TomTom became widespread etc.
This all predates GoogleMaps.
Now for the sake of history, who knows or remembers where Google Maps drew its inspirations or who did the styling (from full cloth?) in the beginning?
My conjecture/hazy memory was that google maps looked a lot like Nick's MS designs.
The beige background and orange/yellow streets for example seem to have no other precedent? Or was this itself taken from US style roadmaps which I only have passing familiarity with?
Any confirmations, substantiants or rejections of this conjecture heartily appreciated!
Bonus question: How did the styling for the current Bing maps came into being?