Google Maps Tricks -…

Google Maps is a Swiss knife full of hidden navigation, spatial search, and customization tools. Do you know all the tricks?

Google Maps has changed the way we browse the world. Its applications have not become just a way to get from point A to B by car, public transport, or on foot. Google Everywhere is also a geospatial search engine for the world around us.

Google continues to revamp and improve its product, but Maps already includes many customizable tools and hidden features that you might not know about, such as an incognito mode.

1. COVID-19 testing and vaccination
Like everyone else, Google Maps has made some adjustments during the pandemic. You can enter “Covid Test near me” in the app to get a list of testing locations, along with contact information and opening hours. You can also find out where to receive a vaccination by entering the “vaccine”, and in many places you can book an appointment with one click. You can also see how many COVID-19 cases are around you and whether they are increasing or decreasing by clicking on the layer icon in the top right corner of Maps and selecting COVID-19 info. Unfortunately, testing and vaccination sites are not available in Slovenia.

2. Interior view
Maps are not just for outdoor navigation. You can find out what’s inside malls, airports, and other large buildings by searching for a location on Maps, clicking on it, and then navigating to the desired locations within the building.

3. Add stations
Car trips are rarely a transition from point A to point B. It’s often like Av cafe-library-pump-to-B. It’s nice that Google allows you to predict sudden stops. To add more destinations to the Google Maps mobile app, enter your start point and end destination, and tap the three dots in the upper right corner. This will open a popup with an “Add Off” option. Click and you can already add a multi-stop track. You’ll even have the option to drag and drop stops within your itinerary. (Note that this does not work if you are using the global option.)

4. Customize your car
If you use navigation while driving, Google allows you to choose which vehicle will appear on the go in the iOS and Android apps. Enter a destination in the app and turn on driving directions. Click the icon that shows your current location, and a popup will appear with several vehicle icon options: limousine, truck or SUV.

5. Hello Google
If you like to communicate with maps while driving and don’t want to get off the road, Voice Command Manager is perfect for you. For example: You notice you’re running out of fuel, say “OK Google, find gas stations” and the map will show gas stations (which you can see once you reach the red light). You can also ask for things like “What’s my next turn,” “What time do I arrive,” or “What’s the traffic?” On Android, just set up the Google Assistant and you’re ready to go. However, on iOS, you can touch the microphone icon in the upper right corner, where you can ask questions with your voice.

6. Offline mode
Today, Maps is very useful on mobile devices, which causes a problem: When you need a Maps app most, you may find yourself somewhere with limited (or non-existent) coverage. Google Maps supports offline access to help you. Enter an address or region, swipe up from the menu at the bottom of the screen, tap the icon (three dots) and select “Download Offline Map”. If you have enough storage space on your device, the requested map will be saved. To access it later, click on your icon and then “Offline Maps”.

7. Adjust Curves
When looking for directions in the desktop version of Maps, you can maneuver your way to go through or away from specific locations using drag and drop. Simply tap and drag any part of your route to move (this only works with walking, driving or biking directions – it doesn’t work with public transit options).

8. Quick Navigation
To get to where you want to go, you have to enter your destination address. However, you can simply right-click where you are going on the map and a drop-down menu will appear to help you find directions to and from that location.

9. Distance measurement
You can also calculate the distance of any two points using the mentioned tool (available by right click). Select Measure Distance to select the starting point (marked by a white dot with a bold black line), then click anywhere else on the map and the distance between the points will be calculated. You can keep clicking to add more points to the map.

10. Remember the parking place
On Android, tap the blue location dot and select “Save Parked Place,” which will add a marker in the Maps app that identifies where you park your car. Touch to add details such as the floor and the location of the parking garage or the rest of the time until the time paid out. You can also set meter reminders, add a picture of where you parked your car, and send your parking location to friends. To find it later, click on the search bar at the top and select “Parking location”.

11. Find a free parking space
Google Maps can provide step-by-step directions based on live traffic data, and it can also give you insight into the status of your parking. When you search for directions to your chosen location on iOS or Android, you may see the P logo at the bottom of the screen, along with one of three labels: Restricted, Busy, and Free. This can help you decide how much time you will spend looking for a parking space, or even if another form of transportation might be a better option.

12. Share my location
Maps also allows you to share your current location with people for a while. If you share your location with a specific contact, they will see where you are going in real time on your map. On Android or iOS, tap the profile icon in the upper right corner and select Share Location. Choose who you want to share with and for how long. Especially useful (and recommended) for mass transit.

13. Travel to the past
Over the years, Street Photo has amassed a huge collection of street shots. In 2014, Google introduced time travel, a way for users to see how street views have changed over time. You can access this Street View 4D mapping experience by tapping the clock icon in the upper left corner (where available), which shows a scrolling scale that allows you to navigate through time by Street View.

14. Add your own route view
Google doesn’t rent its own Street View cars, but Android users can now add their photos to the street-level map feature. All you need to start contributing is the latest version of the Street View app for Android and a smartphone that supports ARCore. Once photos are taken, they can be posted via the app, and Google’s servers will automatically perform the desired rotation and positioning to create a series of related photos. After successfully reviewing and composing the images, your street view will be available to the whole world.

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