Google Maps is no longer the tool that we use only to go from location A to location B. From seeing our streets in real world-like view to remembering where we parked our car, Google has added a lot of useful features to the Maps in the past few years. Google is now adding three more features to the Maps that will change the way you use the app on your smartphone.
1. Aerial View
Starting with the new features, Google is adding photorealistic aerial views of the world’s 100 most popular landmarks in cities such as Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo to the Maps. The feature allows users to get a 3D aerial view of many popular landmarks. This is Google’s first effort to bring an ‘immersive view experience’ to its users. Google defines immersive experience as an experience that pairs AI with billions of high-definition Street View, satellite, and aerial imagery.
While it may seem not-so-useful at first, Aerial View will come in handy in a number of situations. Say you are planning a trip with your friends and you are thinking of going to a particular location. Using Aerial View, you will be able to get a sense of what that popular landmark looks like and if it’s worthy of being added to your trip’s itinerary. Similarly, it can be used by students to learn more about popular historical monuments and landmarks.
2. New Location Sharing Features
Location sharing has always been a crucial part of Google Maps. In fact, the company also allows you to share your live location with someone else. Google is now making the location sharing feature even better as it now allows users to get a notification when the person that is sharing the location has left or arrived at a particular place.
Here’s how it’ll help you: Say you’re meeting up with friends at a restaurant. You can set a notification for the restaurant’s address, so you get a notification when they’ve arrived at the venue. This way, you don’t have to waste any of the time pinging everyone to know where they are. Instead, you will get a notification when they arrive at the venue. Of course, the notification will only come if your friends are already sharing (or you request them to share) their location with you.
Google says the new feature is built with privacy at the forefront. The company will send the user repeated notifications and emails if they are continuously sharing location notifications with someone. This way, you can turn them off if it’s no longer needed. Both immersive view and location sharing notifications are available to all Google Maps users starting today.
3. More Information About Cycling Routes
The number of people using cycles to move around has increased, thanks to the pandemic raising awareness about health and high oil prices. While Google has been providing turn-by-turn cycling navigation for more than a decade, the update will allow users to get even more information about their routes.
The Maps will now provide users with a ‘detailed breakdown’ of the route that tells them if they will encounter heavy car traffic, stairs, or steep hills. It will also tell the users the kind of road they will be traveling on — a major road, a minor road, a bike lane, or a shared path. So you will no longer have to ride on unknown streets.
Google first gave us a glance at these features back at Google I/O 2022, and now the company is finally rolling them out to the users. What are your thoughts on the new Google Maps Features? Let us know in the comments section below!