There’s no doubt about it, Google is winning the digital map game hands down. Google Maps is a must-have tool for anyone on the go, whether you’re heading to the office or traveling the world. In fact, It’s a testament to the broad functionality of the app that, even with this popularity, there are tricks on Google Maps that you might not even be aware of. Here are a few things you can do on Google Maps to enhance your experience while traveling.
Transport options in Google Maps
Anyone who’s spent any amount of time in the app knows that you can select between different travel options — car, walking, cycling — but Google is constantly updating to include newer transport options in different cities across the world. Along with driving time, you can now get an estimation for the cost of journeys by taxi and car-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, e-bike and scooter rentals like Lime and specific public transport routes, tailored to each city.
Search options in Google Maps
The search function on Google Maps is a powerful tool that many users aren’t using to its full potential. Nina Rose, a lifestyle writer at Draftbeyond.com and Researchpapersuk.com, says that, when she’s in a new city, “I can rely on Google’s huge amount of data to find me locations even when I don’t know what I want. You can use vague terms like “restaurant”, “cafe” or “hardware store” and Google can help you find what you want even if you don’t know the term in the local language. Also, don’t forget that adding “near me” to your searches is a great way to simplify your finding process.”
Customize your route in Google Maps
If you know your city well you might get frustrated when Google doesn’t come back with a specific route you’re looking for. Luckily, Maps allows you to alter your route by dragging the path onto a different street. This is also good for tourists looking for a route that goes by major landmarks.
Multiple stops in Google Maps
Another way to customize your route is by adding extra stops along the way. Google allows you to add multiple destinations and order them, giving you a distance and time count for the whole journey and directions between stops. Just tap the three dots at the top right when looking up a route and you’ll get the option to add stops.
There are lots of ways you can make Google Maps work better for you personally. The app allows you to select locations on the map, tag and label them in multiple categories to help you find them later. You can even do this for unestablished locations by long-pressing on any space and adding a pinpoint. If you want to go even further with customization, Google MyMaps is available from the Play store and accessible via the browser on your iOS device and is a great way to make layered maps with custom points, lines and locations anywhere in the world.
Tina Velor, a travel blogger at Writinity.com and Lastminutewriting.com, recommends tourists take advantage of offline maps. “If you’re in a different country roaming data might be expensive or spotty, and WiFi might not always be available. To avoid getting lost with no signal, you can download sections of Google Maps for access while offline. Just search for the area you want — it might be a neighborhood or even a whole city — swipe up and tap Download.”
One great benefit of Google having a monopoly on information is how transferrable that information is. If you’re looking up directions on one device and you are logged in on another, you can share the route you’ve planned with the click of a button rather than having to re-do the search all over again. This is also a great way to share directions with multiple people, as you can select to send by text or email.
Google might be known for its street directions, but they have an ever-increasing list of buildings to which they can provide indoor maps. Malls, airports, event venues around the world area currently feature, showing multi-level floor plans and even walking directions.
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Luckyassignments.com and Gumessays.com. She’s been involved in many projects throughout the country in everything from brand development to content distribution. Mother of two children, she enjoys traveling, reading and attending business training courses.