Google [NASDAQ: GOOGL] wants to be the first place people go for discovery and planning activities since other apps like Instagram and TikTok are becoming more and more competitive with it when it comes to consumer searches for items. Aerial and more immersive views of 100 sites, more precise bicycle routes, and enhanced location sharing with alerts for your friends’ arrival and departure are the three new additions the business today unveiled for Google Maps, its flagship navigation software.
Even some of the capabilities available now are actually intermediate phases in longer upgrading programs. Google Maps has long added additional functionality beyond merely allowing you to plan how to go from A to B.
At its developer conference Google IO back in May, the firm originally unveiled the concept of immersive views with the intention of building 3D models of landmarks using a combination of Street View, satellite, and aerial pictures. In light of this, the business is now releasing panoramic views of more than 100 locations spread over 100 different cities, including Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
Although the function is only now available for landmarks, the business said at Google IO that it intends to extend it to restaurants and neighborhoods so that people can see how they appear before going. All of this is related to the company’s mission to establish Google Maps as the go-to app for location-based services.
Young people are increasingly utilizing Instagram and Tiktok to find restaurants and other locations to visit, according to Prabhakar Raghavan, the company’s senior vice president for Knowledge & Information organization, who made this statement at a conference last month. Instagram launched a searchable maps tool earlier this month to help users discover new destinations.
The second new announced for Google Maps concerns thorough bicycle routes. For more than ten years, the firm has offered turn-by-turn bicycle guidance via its app, and along the way, it has added services like elevation profiles and bikesharing locations.
The most recent version provides cyclists with even more information by informing them if they should anticipate high automobile traffic as well as, conveniently, whether they will be traveling on a main road, a minor road, a bike lane, or a shared path. Additionally, it will alert users if there are any potential roadblocks like steep slopes or stairs.
This brings Google Maps more in line with the functionality of many navigation programs designed specifically for cyclists and makes using Google Maps more trustworthy, particularly on unfamiliar or unexpected routes.
Last but not least, Google is also enhancing location sharing by adding arrival and departure alerts for a specific area. Position sharing allows you to share your live location for a certain period of time using a URL.
How it works is as follows: If you’re meeting a group of friends at a restaurant, you may configure the location notification for that establishment so that you are notified as soon as your friends who are sharing your location arrive at the venue. Users may also set up notifications for departure from a location so they can be informed when friends or family leave.
You may turn these off from the Location Sharing section if necessary. Google said it would repeatedly notify users via the Maps app and emails if they are regularly sharing location alerts with someone.
Users of Google Maps on iOS and Android will be able to access all features, including the immersive view and location sharing notification, which went live today. Bike route information will go live in cities offering cycling navigation in the coming weeks.