Google today showcased the latest features in Google Maps at an event in Chennai. The session highlighted a range of tips and tricks to help people get around more easily including Multi-stop directions, Offline Maps, Search along route, Real-time traffic (including traffic alerts), Timeline and Local Guides among others. Make sure to update your Google Maps to see the latest features.
Addressing the media in Chennai, Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps, said
Google Maps is not just about navigating from point A to B. Whether traveling for business or on holiday, with friends or family, Google Maps can help you plan your travel, explore your destination and keep you safe. Features like multi-stop directions, offline, search along route etc. can make your travel more exciting and hassle free.
Pro-tip 1: Plan your road trips with Multi-stop directions
Whether planning to take a route to pick your friends from different locations or looking to drive along and explore different corners of the city, Google Maps can guide you. It’s latest update on Android (coming soon to iOS), can help you plan your road trip with new multi-stop directions feature. You’ll have the same seamless driving experience you’re used to, whether you’re running errands or stopping at Marina beach.
How do I get it? Just open the app, enter a destination, tap the corner menu, and then click “Add stop”. To rearrange the order of your stops, tap and hold the three dot menu to the left of “Add stop” and drag it to the position you want – you can even search for types of places like petrol pumps, ATMs or restaurants like you normally search. You can add as many stops as you like and once you’re done, tap “Finished” and your multi-stop routing is complete.
Pro-tip 2: Going off the beaten track? Try Offline Maps
Next time you are travelling somewhere without internet, or where you may have a spotty connection, try downloading your map in advance. Offline Maps is a recent feature in Google Maps that gives you the ability to get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places — like hours of operation, contact information and ratings — all without an internet connection. Once you’ve downloaded your map, Google Maps will still work even you don’t have connectivity. When a connection is found, it will switch back online so you can easily access the full version of Maps, including live traffic conditions for your current route. Google Maps will, by default, download areas to your device only when you are on a Wi-Fi connection.
How do I get it? Before you leave, download the area you’re going to and then tap “Download”. Alternatively you can go to “Offline Areas” in the Google Maps menu and tap the “+” button.
Pro tip 3: See what the traffic is really like with Real-time Traffic and Traffic Alerts
Being stuck in traffic is pain. Not knowing how long you might be stuck or if there is a better way you could be taking is even worse. With the Real Time Traffic feature, you can see current traffic conditions right from Google Maps and also compare how long certain routes will take. This feature is available for all national highways and expressways in India and in 34 cities including Chennai from the Google app on your phone or desktop.
Apart from this, Google Maps also provides you with traffic alerts to help you avoid jams. Now when you start navigation, Google will give you a spoken alert for upcoming traffic conditions that helps you identify the quickest route. While you’re on the road, Google Maps will give you a heads up if congestion lies ahead, and how long you’ll be stuck in a jam. You’ll also get the option to take alternate routes, including explanations for why one is recommended—whether it’s the fastest or just avoids traffic.
How do I get it? Go to your settings menu and the turn on the Traffic layer. Once it’s done you’ll see routes mapped out in different colors, indicating the different speed of traffic on those roads. Green means there are no traffic delays on the road, orange indicates a medium amount of traffic and red means heavier traffic congestion. For getting traffic alerts – you just need to search for directions and start navigating.
Pro tip 4: Become a pit stop pro with Search along your route
You can now stay on track while making stops for fuel, coffee, food or anything else that breaks up your journey. Say you’re on a road trip from Chennai and realize you’re running low on fuel, but you’re not sure whether it’s best to turn back to the last petrol station you saw, or see if you can make it to the next one. With the Search along your route feature, making that decision is now easier.
How do I get it? Without exiting navigation mode in Google Maps you can search for and add an extra stop to your route. Google Maps will then show you how long a stop will add to your trip while keeping you on your route.
Pro Tip 5: Want a cab? Google Maps will get you one
Navigating around big cities is never easy—it can take precious minutes to figure out whether it’s best to drive and deal with traffic and parking, hop on a train or bus, or take a cab. Google Maps has made this a little easier. When you search for directions using the latest version of Google Maps on your mobile, we’ll show you a dedicated tab with information for cab services—in addition to the existing driving, public transport, or walking options you’re familiar with. Next time you’re leaving work to meet a friend for dinner, or heading to a client meeting in a new city, you’ll be able to compare all your commuting options right from within the Google Maps app.
How do I get it?If you’re looking for a cab service in Chennai or in any other city in India, you’ll be able to choose from Uber or Ola cab services. If you have a provider’s app installed, you’ll be able to see fare estimates and pick up times and if a car is available near you. Uber users will be able to choose from uberGO and uberX services, while Ola customers can choose from Ola Mini, Ola Micro and Ola Sedan options.
Pro-tip 6: Using Public Transit on Maps – Don’t miss that bus / train!
Google Maps’ Transit feature provides details on trains, bus and metro routes. It shows schedules for roughly 12,000 Indian Railways trains, apart from updated public transport information for bus and metro routes in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune. There are over 2.5 million public transit stops on Google Maps globally. Designed to give you reliable information to help you get where you’re going, you can use Transit to plan inter-city trips in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.
How do I get it? Say you want to visit the Taj Coromandel in Chennai. Type “Taj Coromandel” into Google Maps, click on the “Get Directions” button, and then select the “Public Transit” icon to find which options are available. You can also choose the time of the day you’d like to travel. Google Maps will then show you door-to-door directions to your destination making it easier to plan your trip.
Pro tip 7: Find and Share Hidden Gems with sharing location and Photos
You can explore, review and share your experiences of places with the Google Maps app. Search for restaurants, bars and hotels by opening hours, price and even check out what time of the day they are most busy. You can call or visit a venue’s website, right from their maps listing.
How do I contribute and share? See what others had to say about venues with reviews or share your own experience, by adding a review and — and see them go live instantly. You can also share a place with your friends right from within the Google maps app through Email, SMS or your favorite messenger (Whatsapp / Hangout).
Pro Tip 8: Share your local expertise
No one knows a place better than a local. If you’re an expert in your local area you can contribute reviews, photos or add missing places to Google Maps with Local Guides.
How do I sign up? You can sign-up directly from within the Google maps app and become a city expert on Google maps. You can also unlock great benefits such as Google Drive 100 GB storage for 1 year and exclusive invitations to events. India ranks third in countries with the most Local Guides.
Google Maps by the numbers
- More than 200 countries are on Google Maps
- In India, over 5,000 cities are on Google Maps
- India is in the top five countries using Offline Maps today
- More than 250 historic sites in India are available through the Google Cultural Institute and on Google Maps including The Taj Mahal