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'Google Maps' Articles

Google Maps Now Lets You Check How Crowded a Store is in Real Time

Google has announced a new feature to its Search and Maps apps that enables Black Friday shoppers to know how busy a store is in real time. Dubbed "crowd control", the live feature comes on the back of the company's Popular Times feature, introduced last year, that lets users check how busy a place typically is at different times of the week. Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we're adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go. Whether you’re rushing to pick up a last minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive.The feature works by crowd-sourcing anonymized location data from other Google users and also feeds in Google searches to analyze how busy a location is at any given moment. In addition, Google is also introducing a new way of checking how long people typically stay at a particular location, thereby allowing users to plan their itinerary ahead of time and to the minute. The features augment the apps' existing location information, which also now includes individual department and service hours for stores, businesses, restaurants. The added times are meant to help users know what time they can, say, use the pharmacy at the local drugstore or supermarket, or to find out what time food delivery begins at a nearby restaurant. Many retailers offer steep discounts on popular items on Black Friday in order to attract customers, with Apple products frequently being included in these sales. To keep

Google Maps Adds Food Delivery Support in New Update

Google tonight updated its Maps app, adding food delivery support for popular services like Grubhub, Seamless, Eat 24 and more. The update also makes it easier for users to find plus codes and to take and add photos within the app. Food delivery support is available on many restaurant pages within Google Maps. There's a new "Place an order" option above the restaurant's phone number and below the menu. When users click the option, they'll be presented with a choice of food delivery services that support that restaurant. The new option is currently limited based on country, and not all restaurants are supported. If there's only a single food delivery service listed for a restaurant, Maps will list it in a lighter font color next to "Place an order." Once clicked, the app will instantly boot the user to that app. Additionally, Google has made it simpler to figure out plus codes, which are location identifiers. Just drop a pin anywhere, swipe up the "location card" and click on the unique code, which will instantly be copied to iOS' clipboard. The plus code can then be easily shared with friends or family. Finally, Google has also streamlined the ability to add and take photos within the app. There's now an "add photo" option under the photos of an established location, like a restaurant or business. The app now allows you to either take a photo directly or import a photo from the user's library. Google Maps for iOS is available on the App Store for free. [Direct Link

Uber to Invest $500 Million in Global Mapping Project Led By Google Earth Creator

Ride hailing company Uber is planning to spend $500 million on a global mapping project in an effort to reduce its reliance on Google Maps, according to The Financial Times. The San Fransisco-based company already has mapping vehicles recording geographical data around the U.S. and Mexico. With Uber's presence in over 60 countries, the significant expansion reflects its continuing growth and adds to its existing investment in original research like driverless cars. Last year, it hired world-leading digital mapping expert Brian McClendon, who previously ran Google Maps and was one of the creators of Google Earth. McClendon will be responsible for the mapping project, and recently commented on the plans in a blog post without mentioning the $500 million figure: The ongoing need for maps tailored to the Uber experience is why we're doubling down on our investment in mapping. Our efforts are similar to what other companies including Apple and TomTom are already doing around the world. The street imagery captured by our mapping cars will help us improve core elements of the Uber experience, like ideal pick-up and drop-off points and the best routes for riders and drivers. Address data in Google Maps is typically less accurate in developing countries, resulting in some Uber drivers having to call passengers to ask for their location before a pick-up. Uber hopes to nix these problems and feed the traffic pattern and location data already gathered by its cars into its own mapping system, thereby also avoiding charges for using Google Maps. News of Uber's

Google Maps Satellite View Gains High Definition Landsat 8 Imagery

Google announced yesterday that it has begun rolling out new high-definition satellite imagery of Earth to its Google Earth and Google Maps apps. The company said it was introducing a new cloud-free mosaic of the Earth's surface made up of high-resolution images taken by Landsat 8, a satellite deployed by the USGS and NASA in 2013. Google Earth image of New York City before update New Google Earth image of the same area after update In a blog post announcing the update, Google explained that the seamless mosaic uses new processing techniques for sharper pictures, and was composed out of a mind-blowing amount of open access digital data: To produce this new imagery, we used the same publicly available Earth Engine APIs that scientists use to do things like track global tree cover, loss, and gain; predict Malaria outbreaks; and map global surface water over a 30 year period. Like our previous mosaic, we mined data from nearly a petabyte of Landsat imagery—that’s more than 700 trillion individual pixels—to choose the best cloud-free pixels. To put that in perspective, 700 trillion pixels is 7,000 times more pixels than the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, or 70 times more pixels than the estimated number of galaxies in the Universe. Some users are reportedly still seeing old images in the app, and Google hasn't offered a specific timeline for completion of the update, which began on Monday. Users can check the blog post for more images and information on the satellite's history. Google Maps is a free download from the App Store for

Google Maps App Gains Travel Times Widget and Direction Sharing

Google Maps for iOS was updated with a number of new features yesterday, including a Notification Center widget for commuters on the move and an in-app option for sharing directions. The new Travel Times extension for Google's popular iOS maps app allows users to quickly check a live travel time estimation to their home or work with a simple pull down of the Notification Center. The widget includes a toggle for switching between driving and public transit times, but only functions if users have saved their home and/or work addresses in Google Maps' Settings menu. Tapping on either destination in the Notification Center starts direction navigation from the user's current location. Other additions in the new version of the app include the ability to share directions via the three-dot icon in the top right of the map navigation screen, and a new setting that allows users to select the unit measurement for distance shown during navigation. Lastly, users now have control over Google Maps' color scheme, with a night mode toggle as well as an "Automatic" setting that transitions between day and night mode depending on the time of day. Google Maps is a free download from the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

Google Maps Updated With Ride Services Tab and Spotlight Search Integration

Google today updated its Google Maps app with a new ride service tab, Spotlight Search integration and the ability to save route options. While Uber has been integrated into Google Maps for the past two years, the new ride service tab allows users to more easily access pickup times and prices. In international destinations, Google has integrated several other ride hailing companies. If you have a provider’s app installed and tap on the ride service tab, you’ll be able to see fare estimates and pick up times if a car is available near you. Select a service, and we’ll take you directly to their app for you to book your ride with one tap. When it makes sense, we’ll also show ride service availability when viewing the map in walking and transit directions, and multiple ride services options for each provider—where they exist. For example, if you’re using Uber, starting today, we’ll now show uberX, uberXL and UberBLACK for an easy and quick comparison.While American Google Maps users only get Uber, users in five other countries will receive additional options: 99Taxis in Brazil, Ola Cabs in India, Hailo in the UK and Spain, mytaxi in Germany and Spain, and Gett in the UK. The update will also allow users to use Spotlight Search to find their favorite saved places as well as places they've recently viewed in Google Maps. Driving, walking and biking route options can also be saved for later use. Google Maps for iOS is available for free in the App Store. [Direct Link

Google Maps for iOS Gaining New 'Pit Stop' Feature

Google today announced an incoming update to its Google Maps for iOS app that will let users add pit stops onto their trips without leaving navigation mode. First introduced on Android last fall, the company said that the pit stop feature will be available in any country where Google Maps navigation is offered, which is "more than 100 worldwide." From navigation mode, users will just need to tap the magnifying glass located in the top right corner of Google Maps to see a drop down menu of potential pit stops to add to a trip. The menu offers a few automatic options like restaurants and coffee shops, but a search field gives users a more robust option for specifically finding their desired pit stop. Life is full of the unexpected—things that send us scrambling for a gas station in the middle of nowhere, looking up a florist on our way home from work or searching for a restaurant as we tour the back roads of our latest vacation destination. Finding and navigating to these last-minute pit stops used to force you out of navigation mode in Google Maps—and away from the traffic updates, turn-by-turn directions and map you rely on to stay on track. Similar to Android, the new function on iOS details both the public rating of the pit stop and the amount of time the detour will add onto a trip, letting users select the best-rated and quickest pit stop beforehand. Prior to the update, Google Maps users would have to manually discover and find a potential pit stop, navigate to the location, and when ready to leave, re-start their original route navigation. The company said

Google Announces Offline Maps and Navigation Coming Soon to iOS

Google has announced that the latest version of Google Maps for Android has an improved offline mode, providing access to turn-by-turn directions and several other features in areas without a reliable cellular data or internet connection. It also confirmed these features will be coming soon to iOS, but did not provide a specific release timeframe. Google Maps was previously limited to viewing maps while offline, but this update will enable iPhone users to navigate with turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations and look up information about places, including hours of operation, contact information and ratings, while offline.Now you can download an area of the world to your phone, and the next time you find there’s no connectivity—whether it’s a country road or an underground parking garage—Google Maps will continue to work seamlessly. Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation, contact information or ratings.Google previewed Offline Maps at Google I/O in May, and will be gradually rolling out the new features to Android and iOS

Google Maps for iOS Updated With Spoken Traffic Alerts

Google today updated its Google Maps app to version 4.12, adding spoken traffic alerts in navigation mode as well as the ability to easily add new or missing businesses from the app's sidebar. Spoken traffic alerts will tell users about traffic congestion and incidents on a user's route. Additionally, users will get traffic descriptions summarizing traffic conditions before they set off on their journey. The feature is similar to Google-owned Waze's notifications, which also verbally points out traffic congestion, incidents and the location of police in the area. Google Maps is a universal app available for free in the App Store. [Direct Link]

Google Maps for iOS Gains Apple Watch App

Google today updated its Google Maps app for iOS to version 4.11.0, adding support for the Apple Watch. As of today, there's a Google Maps app that delivers directions on Apple's wrist-worn device. Along with a new Apple Watch app, today's update also includes a tool for comparing estimated travel times across driving, transit, walking and biking directions, and it adds a feature for calling businesses and getting directions from a list of places. As with most updates, there are also unspecified bug fixes. What's New - Easily compare ETAs across driving, transit, walking & biking - Call business & get directions directly from a list of places - Get directions to places now on your Apple Watch - Bug fixesThis isn't Google's first app for the Apple Watch, but it will arguably be the most useful as there are many iOS users who still prefer to use Google Maps over Apple Maps. Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Android Mascot Discovered Urinating on Apple Logo in Google Maps [Updated]

Amid the fanfare of the Apple Watch launch, a few eagle eyed employees at Team Android today discovered an unusual easter egg within Google Maps. Visiting these specific coordinates on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Team Android found an image of the Google Android mascot urinating over the Apple logo to be embedded within the map itself. It's yet to be made clear who exactly created the image and placed it within Google Maps and, as Engadget points out, whether Google is even aware it exists at all at this time. While the two companies have been known to be rivals in the past, especially concerning their own individual Apple Maps and Google Maps services, today's development is an interesting new addition to their long history. Update 7:46 AM: The addition was made by a Google Map Maker user who is likely not a Google employee. Update 1:22 PM: The prank has been removed from Google

Google Maps for iOS Gains Restaurant Filters, Weather Info and More

Google today updated its Google Maps app to version 4.2, adding a number of new features to enhance the user experience including filters to sort restaurant searches by cuisine and built-in weather information for various cities around the world. It's now possible for users to drop pins for both starting and destination points when mapping out directions, and Google Maps allows users to add transit directions to their calendars. Finally, the update also includes several bug fixes. What's new - Filter searches for restaurants by cuisine type - See current weather information for cities around the world - Drop a pin for your starting and destination points in directions and navigation - Add transit directions to your calendar - Bug fixesGoogle Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]