"Google maps has always integrated local listings, and I think this takes it to the level we always have seen it from the engineering level," said Brett Taylor, product manager of Google Local.
With the new integration, if you have a saved location in Google Local you will now see a map of that place when you start a search, rather than later in search results. You'll also be able to use the satellite imagery and hybrid map/satellite photo combination when viewing local search results.
Maps and Local have been unified in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Japan. Both the U.S. and Canada versions have also been moved out of beta and are now official Google services.
Google Maps will still be available at maps.google.com.