Google does the marketing coup and rebrands Google Local as Google Maps. It was in last October that Google had merged Google Maps with their local search application. The move is in response to Yahoo!'s strenghening the barracks with satelite and fly over photography. Technocrunch has also voted Yahoo! Maps as the best web mapping service.
Thai Tran, Product Manager, Google Maps and Local Search reasoned on Google Blog that "we underestimated how much people loved Google Maps. Many have continued to refer to the site by the previous name, and many have explicitly asked us to "bring back Google Maps." As per the future of the two separated entities of Google Maps and Google Local, she commented "Google Maps continues to have the killer combination of maps, driving directions, and local business search. And local search has become a fundamental part of the Google search experience; it's now embedded within a number of our products, including Google web search, Google Earth, Google SMS, and Google Mobile."
Whatever the reasonning, it only seems smart to have done it. While the competition is gearing up, Google can't be lagging behind.