Google Maps has been a reference in navigation applications for more than a decade. As the years have gone by, Google has been putting more and more options in its tool. Today, we are going to show you 15 tricks and some easter egg for Google Maps with which you can get the most out of the navigation application.
No matter how often you use Google Maps, whether on your computer or mobile, there are always things left to discover. So if you are one of those who only use Google Maps to look at routes and little else, check out this list and see everything you can do with it.
1. Add stops on a trip
If you want to plan a trip using Google Maps, you can also add stops on a route you have chosen. That is perfect, for example, if you have been told that it is essential to stop at this restaurant or monument that catches you on the way. In this case, you want Google Maps to tell you how to get to it during the route.
To add stops, when you are viewing a route in the application, click on the icon of the three points that you have just to the right of both locations.
A pop-up menu will open, and you have to click on the option Add stop. You will see another space in which to add a new address, and this will be implemented on the trip.
2. Google Maps Go for weak phones
Although the Lite version of its website is no longer active, Google Maps does have a lightweight version for mobile devices.
It’s a web app called Maps Go, and you can download it from Google Play. Unfortunately, do not expect the same modern design of the conventional app, but it does work a little better on entry-level mobiles.
3. Time Travel Using Street View
Street View is one of the most interesting features of Google Maps for me. It is especially useful for exploring specific areas of cities before moving around them. Therefore, you can better recognize the streets once you are there. But in addition to visiting the neighborhoods of many cities as they are now, with Street View, you can travel to the past, at least in some specific places.
Visiting points like the Freedom Tower in New York or the Onagawa area in Japan and activating Street View, you will see a small clock-shaped icon in the upper left corner. Open it with a click, and you can see, for example, the different phases in the construction of the New York skyscraper or the reconstruction of the areas devastated by the 2011 tsunami.
4. Check your travel history
With so much travel on the maps, you should know that all your journey is conveniently recorded in a history that is only visible to you.
This history collects your most visited places (as long as you have Location History enabled). It also allows you to travel through the information through a handy timeline at the top of the map. You can see the addresses you have defined as Home and Work for Google. The level of detail can be amazing.
To access your travel history and visited places,
- Click on the three bars icon in the upper left corner
- Then, click on the option Your timeline.
- The information will be displayed in a new tab. And if you don’t want Google to record that data, remember that you can delete it or keep it
5. Share a location from your mobile
Google Maps has two ways to share a location. The first way is to share a point on the map. It is perfect for sharing where that restaurant you and your friends are going to have dinner or place you want to go on vacation. Doing so is extremely simple. Although it is a function of the mobile app.
The second way is pretty unique. Here’s how
- If it is a signposted location, such as a restaurant or point of interest, simply click on it.
- If it is a random point on the map, press and hold your finger
- In both cases, a menu will appear, where you have to click on the Share option
Now, choose the contact or application with which to share the location.
6. Share your location in real-time
With the Google Maps mobile application, you can also share your location in real-time for a certain time. Whoever receives your link will know where you are going minute by minute. You can share it for certain hours or indefinitely until you deactivate the option.
- To share your location and where you move, click on the menu button at the top left
- When the menu appears, click on the Share location option
- You will go to a screen where you can choose for how long to share your location, and then choose who to send the link to.
7. Access Street View from your mobile
In the past, Street View is something you can do only in Desktop. Now, you can do so on mobile. With it, you can see the 360-degree photos of different sites. It is perfect for getting visual references when you want to go to it or do some virtual tourism.
- Keep your finger on the location where you want to access Street View until Google Maps places a marker.
- When the bookmark is placed, Google will take you to a location tab
- Touch the address that appears at the bottom of the mobile screen
- In this tab, click on the Street View option that will be written on a scale photo of the place in question.
8. Check the train, subway and bus schedules
When you are looking for a route on Google Maps, it is possible to choose between several means of transport: car, public transport, bicycle or even on foot. So far, everything is right. But perhaps, you have not noticed that, if you choose public transport, Google Maps allows you to check the schedules directly from your query, without having to resort to the official websites of transport services.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Search for a route between two points on Google Maps, and click on Get Directions
- On the navigation screen, if you are in car mode choose public transport to do it
- You will directly enter a menu with the available schedules for the selected means of transport
- In the options, you can change the departure time to adapt the schedules to your needs
On the Google Maps website, it is done exactly the same, although everything from the side window from which you configure the route.
9. Find things near your location
Did you know? Google Maps has saved my life many times. And one of the functions I use most is to locate things near a specific location. For example, if you have stayed with your friends in a restaurant that you do not know, you can easily locate a public parking lot or an ATM near you.
This is how you do it:
- Locate on Google Maps the exact location or address that interests you.
- Click on the icon that appears on it.
- In the sidebar, you will see shortcuts to search for nearby businesses, such as restaurants or hotels
- The search bar will change slightly to allow you to locate other nearby points of interest, such as gas stations or ATMs.
10. Check the traffic status
It is a very important point when moving from one place to another, especially in large cities. In Google Maps, you can see the current traffic status before leaving home, and thus save the traffic jam by choosing an alternative route.
To see it, both on the PC and the mobile, just click on the three bars icon in the upper left corner of the interface and choose Traffic.
You will see some overlapping lines on the streets, with a color code that ranges from green (fast traffic) to dark red (slow traffic). As a curious detail, at the bottom of the screen, Google Maps allows you to choose between traffic data obtained in real-time or the data expected in the selected area that day and at that time (typical traffic condition).
11. Measure the distance between two or more points
Searching for the route between two points is one of the main functions of Google Maps, but did you know that you can also measure the actual distance between those two points?
In this way, you have a more approximate idea of how long it can take to go from one place to another. To do this, follow these steps:
- Right-click on the starting point of the route you want to calculate
- In the pop-up menu choose the Measure distance option
- Now click on the destination point, and Google Maps will draw a straight line between the two points
Then, move the straight line to make curves that coincide with the streets, and the total distance will be modified.
12. Download offline maps on your mobile
This is probably one of the most popular features of Google Maps. Especially when you are traveling abroad and know that you will need to consult the map, but you will not have a data rate to do so. Luckily, downloading maps from Google Maps for offline use is very simple. You can do so by following these steps:
- Locate the point that interests you in the Google Maps app
- Touch the bottom bar of the screen, where the name of the place you searched for appears.
- In the new window, click on the Download option
- You can download areas of up to 120,000 square kilometers, and 500 MB maximum size.
You can also do it without choosing a specific point on the map:
- Press the three bars button on the left.
- Choose the ” Offline Maps ” option
- The ones you have downloaded will appear. To make a new one, click on Select your own map.
- Clamp in or out with your fingers, and slide them to locate the area that interests you.
- Finally, press the download button.
13. Move in Street View like in a video game
Google Street View is a useful tool when navigating a city where you have not been looking for landmarks. However, having to do it at the click of a button can be a bit tired.
Fortunately, there is a second method to move around the maps as if you were in a first-person action video game, with the classic combination of WASD keys on your keyboard.
14. Some locations have interior maps
It seems that Google Maps does not have enough to map virtually every corner of the world. Recently, Google Maps also showed us the interior of some locations.
Museums, malls, railway stations, sports facilities, and other popular places around the globe have their interior view in Google Maps. It is available both from the web and from its app. This way you can find specific stores, specific services, or even a sink.
This is a function that has been gradually improving in recent years. You can check the list of countries that have it implemented on this Google page, and if you own a place whose interior plan you would like to publish on Google, you can do so from here.
15. Check the billboard of theaters and concert halls
In addition to other users’ opinions about restaurants, store opening hours, or the public transport schedules we mentioned before, there is another interesting fact that you can see directly on Google Maps.
You can see the next performances in theaters and concert halls. Here’s how:
- First, click a specific location.
- Then, the info appears on the left sidebar under the title Upcoming events.
With the latest Google Maps Update last week, there might be other features remain unknown. Therefore, don’t forget to follow us on social media to get the latest update about new things to happen in Google Maps in 2020.
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