Google Maps has replaced virtually all other navigation services as the best out there. It comes packed with features and many of them aren’t obvious or known to the average person. Here are some Google Map tricks that you may not have known about.
1. Multi-stop routes
Sometimes life isn’t as simple as going from point A to point B. Sometimes there are stops between those points that you also need directions to. Instead of re-doing directions for each stop you can actually plan for multi-stop routes. Just click on the plus sign below the directions to add another stop!
2. Look at upcoming events
A lot of venues have events that are coming up that are way more interesting than events they have going right now. Concert halls, movie theaters, and pretty much any other place that hosts events can be searched by Google Maps. When you search for a venue, a list of upcoming events will appear. This makes it much easier than searching on Google Search half the time and you may find events you wanted to go to that you didn’t know were happening!
3. Save maps for offline use on mobile
Of all the Google Map tricks on this list, we anticipate this one being the most popular. Thankfully it’s also among the easiest to do. Here’s how it works. You search for the directions you need. When they pop up, go into the search bar and type in “Okay Maps”. This will save the maps in your cache and you can access them without a web connection.
4. Search for flights on long trips
Are you going on vacation? Google Maps can make it easier. Search for directions from your current location to your destination wherever it may be. In the directions there will be a link that will let you search for flights.
5. Make your mark on Maps
You can actually help organize and perfect Google Maps! All you need to do is head on over to Google Map Maker. Here you can make corrections to addresses, add more places on Google Maps, and otherwise help improve Google Maps for everyone. If you plan on goofing around on it then we recommend you don’t. Each thing you submit is approved or denied by a team of moderators and your joke will probably never make its way to Google Maps.
6. Use the smart search
If you’re at a loss for what to then Google Maps can help. Using the search, you can search for general things like family fun, movie theaters, restaurants, and plenty of others. Google Maps will then show you everything in your area that fills that criteria. This is a great way to discover new places close to you or help give you an idea if you don’t know what to do.
7. See everything in an area that Google Maps knows about
If the intelligent search mentioned a moment ago isn’t good enough, then you can always just pop and asterisk (*) into the search. This will show you literally everything Google Maps knows about on the screen so you can see what is around. This is also a great way to discover new places or find something to do!
8. Alter your course
There are a hundred ways to get almost anywhere and Google Maps knows all about it. When you search for directions you can change which course you take. This can be handy for avoiding high traffic areas, construction areas, or routes you would otherwise prefer not to travel. It’s easy to do. Hover your mouse over the blue line in the route you wish to change. Click and drag the white dot to the road you’d rather travel. Google Maps will then create a new route based on that information.
9. Make Google+ useful!
Google+ is getting more and more popular but there are still a lot of people who can’t justify using it. Google Maps may help with that. When performing any search you can select to see what people in your Google+ circles think of places nearby. Of course this requires you have people in your Google+ circles that have reviewed nearby areas but aside from that it’s a useful feature. You can activate it by checking the “your circles” button when you run a search or you can type “by:circles” minus the quotes to get the same effect.
10. Use Waze
Even though it made headlines in the tech community, not a lot of people know that Google actually bought Waze last year. They’ve been slowly integrating the social-based navigation site into Google Maps. Until they’re done, you can always check out Waze for its unique range of social-based features and see what the future of Google Maps may look like!
With the near-constant slew of updates and added features, we assume Google Maps is going to remain a top contender for a long time. It’s best to learn the tricks now because they’re only going to get better and there are going to be more of them soon!
Featured photo credit: Google Blog via 2.bp.blogspot.com
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