Google Maps unveils three new features, two are rolling out now

Google released a blog post today explaining how three updates are coming to Google Maps just in time for the warmer months. As the gang in Mountain View wrote, “If the warmer months have you feeling extra inspired — and excited — to get outside and explore with friends, Google Maps can help you transform the way you coordinate plans and stay connected this summer and beyond. Whether you’re checking out top landmarks in a new city, planning to hop on your bike, or hanging out with friends around town, these updates have you covered.”

Three new features are coming to Google Maps, two of them are rolling out now

To help you plan your summer trips, Google Maps is adding what it calls “photorealistic aerial views of nearly 100 of the world’s most popular landmarks in cities like Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo.” This is the first step, Google says, toward launching Immersive View which combines AI with Street View, aerial, and satellite images.

Google previously wrote about Immersive View back in May and explained how it allows users to “fly” above an area to see what it looks like at different times of the day. You can then “glide” down to street level and “peek” inside bars and restaurants to get a look at the atmosphere inside. It’s an exciting new technology that Google is bringing to its iconic app.
Google says that worldwide, bicycling is up 40% which it notes is no surprise given the warmer weather and the higher gas prices. For over 12 years, Google has provided Maps users with cycling directions based on data from cities combined with AI. With Google Maps’ new bicycle route information, you’ll be able to compare different paths. The data will show you the elevation of the road or trail along your route and you’ll also know in advance if you will encounter heavy car traffic, stairs, or steep hills.

Location sharing notifications are great for those planning to meet up with others at a ballpark, theater, restaurant, or store

The third and last of the three new updates is about location sharing notifications. Google explains how this works with a realistic scenario. “Say you’re headed to a concert with a group of friends. If they’ve already chosen to share their location with you, you can set a notification for the concert venue’s address so you can see when they’ve arrived and meet up quickly. You could also set a notification to see when they’ve left the venue — just in case you get split up.”

To protect users’ privacy, these notifications can only be set for those who have agreed to share their location with you. As Google said, “The person who’s shared their location with you will receive multiple reminders to let them know — including both a push notification in the Maps app and an email, along with recurring monthly emails. As always, you’re in control: you choose to stop sharing your location or block someone from setting notifications altogether.”

Two of the three new features are rolling out now on the iOS and Android versions of the Google Maps app. Those are the aerial view of landmarks, and the location-sharing notifications. The cycling route information will start rolling out in weeks in the hundreds of cities where cycling directions are made available.

Google Maps is the default mapping and navigation app on Android and while Apple has its own Apple Maps app, Google Maps can be installed from the App Store for the iPhone. If for some reason you don’t have the app on your Android device, you can get it from the Google Play Store by clicking on this link.


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