Google Maps Live View Feature Helps Get You Home For The Holidays With AR
Google Maps is making it easier to find Grandma's house this Thanksgiving, and all of the stores for your out-of-town Black Friday shopping spree. If you happen to be in select cities, you can use a new AI visual search experience as well.
Many love to travel during the holidays. Sometimes this means visiting cities you are not familiar with. Trying to find an ATM to grab some extra cash, or locating a local coffee shop can leave you feeling frustrated. Google is trying to alleviate some of the anxiety of being in an unfamiliar place with a few new features in its Google Maps app, allowing you to enjoy your time away from home without the stress of not knowing where to find the pumpkin pie you promised Grandma.
One of the new features rolling out to select cities involves searching with Live View. Live View allows a user to traverse a city more intuitively with the aid of AI, with billions of Street View images and augmented reality. This feature utilizes the smartphone's camera, providing the user with AR-powered directions and arrows. This nifty way of navigating provides an overlay on the phone's display of the direction a person is traveling and how far away they are from their destination. As an added bonus, it will also notify the user of unseen locations, in order to deliver a "true sense of the neighborhood at a glance."
Google Maps AR overlay
Google Maps AR overlay
If you are planning on visiting London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, or Tokyo, you should see the new feature rolling out on Android and iOS soon.
For those traveling in an electric vehicle, Google Maps is making it easier to find the best charging stations too. Some may already use Google Maps in order to find charging stations, but now the feature will include the ability to select the "fast charge" filter and see stations with chargers 50kW or higher. There is also a filter that will show your EV's plug type in more countries, so you only see stations with plugs your vehicle is compatible with.
A third new feature being added to Google Maps is being able to see wheelchair-accessible, stair-free places around the world. This feature was previously only available in Australia, Japan, the UK, and the U.S., but is now rolling out worldwide. Simply turn on the "Accessible Places" setting in the Google Maps app, and be shown a wheelchair icon on a business's profile if it has a wheelchair-accessible entrance, and the same icon will have a strikethrough if it is not wheelchair friendly. The feature also indicates if the location has accessible seating, restrooms, and parking.
If you are planning on traveling this holiday season, be sure to update your Google Maps app in order to have all the latest features and updates. Also, be sure to be safe and have fun.