Tech Guide

How to use Google Maps as a pro

You probably think you know how to use the Google Maps app, which is one of the most popular services that Google offers. Although a huge number of users use the Google Maps application on a daily basis, only a few are familiar with some of the advanced functionalities that this application offers.

Offline access to the Google Maps application

Most Google Maps users use in-car navigation to help them reach their destination. Although mobile internet is an indispensable item of every smartphone, travel often takes us to some destinations where the signal is lost or where there is simply no signal. In this case, it is wise to use the offline Google Maps option, as this eliminates the possibility of incorrect navigation. Go to options, then Offline maps. Select as many folders as you need for a given trip, then click Save.

Link multiple locations to Google Maps

When planning a longer trip, we will think about whether we want to stop somewhere else along the way to take a picture of a famous landmark or eat some lunch or something else. Basically, it is not unusual that on the way we want to have points where we will stop, or where we want to stop. If you want to add a place where you will stop along the way, all you have to do is go to the upper right corner on three dots and select the option to add an additional destination (Add stop). A new waypoint will be added to your route, and you can add more.

Use the services of other drivers

Uber and Lyft are two popular platforms, which have emerged in recent years as the best and cheapest taxi options. Given their popularity, Google has decided to integrate the services of these two companies into its Google Maps service. So, if you want to travel somewhere and you don’t have the will to drive a car – you can find a solution for yourself on the Google Maps application. All you have to do is type in the desired location and then select the public transport icon, and the possibilities offered by some of the mentioned companies will be listed.

Routes suitable for the disabled

People with mobility problems often have problems with the availability of some destinations. Wheelchair access is difficult in many places, so Google has made it easier for people with disabilities to use traffic. When you type in the desired destination and ask for directions, you must select the public transport icon on the screen. Then, go to Options and select the ‘wheelchair accessible’ option for the route segment. Once you select this option, Google Maps will list a list of new routes that wheelchair users can use. This option is available for now in the larger guards, and the number of locations is enriched based on data sent by users on the accessibility of places for the disabled.

Check the history in the Google Maps app

Using the Google Maps application becomes superfluous only when we pass a route several times and when we remember in our head where we have to turn and how to reach the goal. However, this is not achieved so quickly (especially if it is a social and complicated route), so users know how to search for the same travel routes more than once. In order not to re-enter places every time and adjust all the necessary parameters, it is possible to access the history of route search. You’ll need to connect to myactivity.google.com to access past routes. However, as there is a complete Google History at that address, you will need to select from the menu that you want to browse Google Maps. After that, the routes you used before will be listed, and you can use them again if you travel to the same location.

View from the satellite to the desired destination

The basic function of the Google Maps service is to display maps with drawn streets and roads, as well as basic cartographic elements. But Google also offers two different overviews of the locations we want to travel to. One of them is Google Street View, which shows us what roads and buildings look like from the perspective of a car traveling on the road. The second function is to view the place from a bird’s eye view, ie to record a specific location from a satellite. To turn on the satellite image preview option, simply click on the Satellite view option. After that, all current maps will be converted into photos taken by satellite, which will give you a more realistic sense of where and how you have to travel.

Create your own Google Maps

Although Google Maps is a service used globally, Google has enabled users to significantly personalize existing maps. In addition to all the above, the user also has the option of creating your own map, which can be enriched with elements of your choice. If you want to create your own Google map, you will need to connect to the desktop version of the Google Maps service and select Your places – Maps – Create Map from the menu. Once your new map opens, you can add notification cards to it, you can mark and highlight some parts of the map, and you can also create and mark your own routes on the map. At the end of the process, you can share your map with others by clicking the Share button.

Advanced search function

Google has built its business thanks to the Google search engine, which is still synonymous with Internet search. The Google Maps service has also built in a fantastic search function, and only a few users use some of the advanced functionalities that this service offers. For example, when searching, you can use words that Google will recognize and offer you relevant content. Specifically, if you are looking for a hair salon, Google will list all the hair salons nearby. However, you can also look for salons according to the exact street where you want to get a haircut , but also according to the location of your home or work . After analyzing data, Google understands after a while where you are at home and where you work, and based on that, it places relevant data for the search terms on Google Maps.

Create your own Street View

Google Street View is one of the advanced features of Google Maps, which was created thanks to the desire of users to see what the places they want to reach actually look like. Google sends vehicles around the world every day to use special cameras to capture footage, which they then add to Street View after processing. Most users don’t know how they can create content for Street View functionality themselves. Google has provided several cameras and software tools that allow you to capture streets and then add the captured content to Google Street View.

Overview of traffic jams on Google Maps

One of the great upgrades that Google has introduced in recent years is certainly traffic density analysis and route routing on less busy roads. In particular, when you have the traffic review option turned on, Google notifies you in real time where the traffic is congested and which sections I wisely bypass. This function works very well and thanks to it you can avoid traffic jams. Many users do not know how they can predict where the increased traffic will be via the desktop version of the Google Maps application. In particular, by clicking on the Traffic option you can choose between Live Traffic and Typical Traffic. If you select this first option, you will get information about the current traffic situation. However, with the Typical Traffic option, you can find out in advance which are the critical parts of the city that should be avoided at a specific time.

Overview of the number of free parking spaces

Speaking of traffic jams, it is worth mentioning the trouble of finding a parking space. In larger cities, finding a free parking space often turns into a real adventure that can take up to half an hour. Depending on the location, Google Maps offers users information on the number of free parking spaces in specific locations. In particular, if you see a small P logo at the bottom of the screen, it means that Google wants to inform you about the number of free parking spaces. This P will be accompanied by one of three pieces of information: limited, medium or easy – which suggests whether all parking spaces are filled, whether there are a certain number of free spaces or for example parking is quite simple given that there are no crowds in parking lots.

Use voice commands while driving

It is not wise to use a smartphone, write messages or make phone calls without special equipment while driving. All this reduces our attention focused on traffic, so traffic accidents can happen. But navigating through Google Maps now has a new dimension. Namely, the Google Maps application can be used to manage voice commands, and all you need to do is call the ‘OK Google’ command. For example, the command ‘OK Google, find a petrol station’ should take you to the nearest petrol station. Although the system is not yet fully developed and users are not used to it, this will certainly play an important role in the future and management of navigation while driving.

Indoor navigation within specific buildings and plants

Experts predict that this type of navigation could be the next major innovation to happen in the navigation sector. In order for Google not to lag behind in that segment, an initiative has been launched that is becoming richer in data. Indoor navigation is actually navigating within certain buildings and facilities, to make it easier for the user to figure out which door to knock on and where exactly he wants to get to. With this system, Google will lead you into the future not only to the exact address and the desired building, but also to the exact door where you have to do something. This system is still at an early stage, but the list of locations that allow this feature is growing.

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