This fantastic service from Google (without which many of us lose even more often) has spent a decade teaching us how to get from one place to another, how our neighborhood is a bird ‘s eye view, or how are the streets of cities that do not we have never visited.
But no matter how often you use Google Maps, either on the computer or mobile, there are always things that remain to be discovered. A little more hidden functions (but still useful) or mere curiosities that make this service something even more amazing – and more practical. So if you are someone who only uses Google Maps to look at routes and little more, check out this list and look at all what you can do with it.
1. Create your personal map
Google Maps includes maps of virtually any corner of the world, but maybe not enough for you. Luckily, you can create custom maps with information that interests you, and save them for later use or share them with other users of Google Maps. It may be useful, for example, to mark all the floors that you want to visit if you are going to move house, or have clear all the monuments you want to visit on a trip. This is how you do it:
- Click on the icon of the three bars in the upper left corner of the interface and select “My Maps”
- Bottom, you’ll see a link for “Create map”.
- You can select a specific area and add markers or signs, drawing lines, measuring distances and even import data in the form of extra layers on your map
2. How to get a 3D view
Surely you know the two display options offered by Google Maps: either as a map or with satellite images. But what may have happened unnoticed is a curious variation in the way with satellite images, which allows tilt the view slightly and move around the city streets like you’re flying between buildings. To enable this option, follow these steps:
- Load a city in Google Maps and choose the mode “Earth” by clicking on the image scale at the bottom of the map
- Notice the column of icons that appear on the right side of the map, and click on the one that looks like a grid (second from top).
- Clicking once, you will see a slightly tilted view, and clicking again, the horizon is even more inclined (although with some loss of quality images)
Mobile you can also do something similar, though oddly, this time, is on the flat map, no satellite imagery. If you place two fingers slightly apart on the map, and then move up at once, you will see that the map is tilted to get a 3D effect. This can help you better recognize certain buildings or monuments – although not available in all cities.
3. Time Travel in Street View
Street View is for me one of the especially useful for exploring specific areas of cities before moving through them and thus better recognize the streets once you are there more interesting features of Google Maps. But besides visiting the districts of many cities as they are now, with Street View you can travel to the past… at least in some specific sites.
By visiting points as the Freedom Tower in New York or the area of Onagawa in Japan and activating Street View, you’ll see a small icon shaped clock in the upper left corner. Open it with a click and you will see, for example, the different phases of the New York skyscraper construction or reconstruction of the areas devastated by the tsunami in 2011.
4. Check your travel history
With so much travel maps, they should know that all that is properly registered with a history that is only visible to you. This history includes your travel and your most visited sites (as long as you have enabled location history) and also lets you travel information through a practical timeline at the top of the map. You can also see the addresses that you have defined as “work” facing Google and “House.” The level of detail can be amazing.
To access your travel history and places visited, click the icon of the three bars in the upper left corner of the interface and choose “Your timing”. The information is displayed in a new tab.
5. Share your location from your mobile
Yes, we can now easily share the location from WhatsApp or Telegram … but can also be done from Google Maps, and worth knowing how, because it is not so clear at first sight. To share your location on Google Maps for mobile:
- Touch your current location (represented by a blue dot) for a few seconds, and you’ll drop a marker on the map
- Touch the address listed at the bottom of the mobile screen.
- In the menu that opens, click “Share” and select the app you want to use to share your location
6. Accessing Street View from Mobile
Another thing that does not seem very clear to the naked eye in the mobile app of Google Maps is access to Street View and indeed is much like the previous trick. Just follow these steps:
- Keep your finger on the location where you want to access Street View, Google Maps until you place a marker.
- Touch the address listed at the bottom of the mobile screen.
- In the menu that opens, tap the “option Street View” (written on a scaled image of the place in question)
7. Check train schedules, metro and bus
When you are looking for a route in Google Maps, you can choose from several means of transport: car, public transportation, bicycle or even on foot. Until here all right. But perhaps you have not noticed that, if you choose public transport, Google Maps allows you to check schedules directly from your query, without having to resort to the official websites of transport services. To do this, follow these steps:
- Find a route between two points on Google Maps, and choose public transport to make it.
- At the bottom of the sidebar, you’ll see a link “Schedule Explorer”. Click it.
- Google Maps will show times available for the selected transport means in a separate window where you also can set other dates and times as desired.
This feature is also available in the Google Maps app, but in this case, to see the times, you have to select one of the routes suggested by public transport, and then tap the small icon shaped arrow next to the travel originating station.
8. How to find things near a specific location
With virtually no sense of direction that I have, Google Maps has saved my life many times. And one of the features I use most is to find things near a specific location. For example, if you’ve stayed with friends in a restaurant you do not know, you can easily find a parking public or ATM near him. This is how you do it:
- Located in Google Maps the exact address or location you are interested
- In the sidebar, click on the button “Nearby Places”
- The search bar will change slightly to allow you to locate nearby points of interest like restaurants, hotels, parking, etc.
9. Check the traffic
A very important time to move from one place to another, especially in big cities point, it is traffic. In Google Maps, you can view the traffic conditions existing before leaving home, and so save the jam choosing an alternative route. To see this, both the PC and mobile, just click on the icon of the three bars in the upper left corner of the interface and choose “Traffic”.
You will see superimposed lines on the streets with a color code ranging from green (fast traffic) to dark red (slow traffic). A peculiar thing at the bottom of the screen, Google Maps lets you choose between traffic data obtained in real time (“direct traffic”) or data expected in the selected area that day and at that time (“traffic typical”).
10. How to measure the distance between two or more points
Find the route between two points is one of the main functions of Google Maps, but did you know you can also measure the actual distance between these two points? This way you have a better idea of how much you can take to get from one place to another. To do this, follow these steps:
- Right, click on the starting point of the route you want to calculate and choose the “option Measure the distance”.
- Then click on the destination, and Google Maps will draw a straight line between the two points.
Obviously, this does not make much sense because a straight line does not correspond to the reality of streets, corners, avenues and so on. But for that, you can simply take the line drawn with the mouse and move it over the map to fit the distribution map of streets.
11. How to download offline maps on your mobile
This is probably one of the most popular features of Google Maps, especially when you’re traveling abroad and you know you need to consult the map, but you will not have to do data rate. Fortunately, download Google Maps for offline use is very simple, and can do so by following these steps:
- Locate the point you’re interested in the Google Maps app.
- Tap the bottom bar of the screen, where the name of the place you searched appears.
- In the new window, click the icon of the three points in the upper right corner and choose “Download offline area” You can download areas of up to 120,000 square kilometers, and 500 MB maximum size.
12. Move Street View like a video game
While preparing this list of tricks, I have learned many things from Google Maps did not know. And one of them is that you can move around Street View like you’re in a game of first – person shooter, with the classic combination of WASD keys. Depending on the area you’re exploring; you can be much more comfortable to be clicking with the mouse all the time.
13. Some locations have indoor maps
It seems that Google Maps does not have enough to map virtually every corner of the world, but also has proposed doing so also within some locations. Museums, stations, shopping malls, sports facilities and other landmarks around the world have their inner planes in Google Maps (available both from the web and from mobile). So you can quickly locate shops, specific services or even a sink.
14. Consultation flights between cities
If when you look for the route between two points (as stated in paragraph 7), you select two cities, among which there are direct flights, the sidebar of Google Maps display information about number of direct flights a day, prices return, airlines … the information you can enlarge by clicking on the “View results on Google Flights”.
15. Check the undercard of theaters and concert halls
In addition to opinions of other users on restaurants, opening times of the shops, or public transportation schedules we mentioned earlier, there is another interesting fact you can see directly in Google Maps. This is the next performances in theaters and concert halls, which appear at the very end of the left sidebar, under “Upcoming Events”, clicking on the map on a local of this type.
16. Do not you want to be in Street View? Ask to fade
Street View already does a good job erasing faces, license plates and other more personal details that could help identify certain people. But if in your case you have not done all that well, you can request that blur those details to keep your privacy safe. To do this, follow these steps:
- Street View navigates to the point where the item you want is blurring.
- Look on the bottom right of the screen the link “Report a Bug” and click on it.
- A new tab will open with a form where you can specify in detail the location and ask that blur a particular detail of it.
This same form also serves to warn of poor quality images or misaligned navigation arrows.
17. Become a Shining Path Google Maps
If, contrary to the previous point, do not you care that your face is immortalized in Google Maps, you can join your program Street View Trekkers: a group of walkers who, loaded with a special backpack equipped with cameras and all the necessary technology, run through those corners of the world where the Google car cannot reach. Currently, they have already reached several places, the latest example of which is the Mont Blanc.
The program is aimed at specific groups such as tourist agencies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and university or study groups, and occurs only in specific countries. If you dare, you just have to fill out the form and arm yourself with patience while waiting for a response.