A Look at the New Google Maps
Google has recently rolled out a new version of its popular Maps in an effort to remain competitive in the marketplace. As part of the update, Google Maps were overhauled extensively. Before you jump into using the website or the app on your mobile device, here are some quick things you need to know.
First off, the new Google Maps experience will be had across all platforms. This means you can prepare for a more universal experience if you are using Maps on your computer, tablet or smartphone. And for the first time you will be able to use the website on an iPad, meaning users will no longer have to endure Apple Maps, which is notorious for gross inaccuracies. The new format of Maps does away with the small map window on a computer and the list of destinations on the left. Instead, users will see a large map window with pins that can be clicked on to pull up information about various locations.
An Explore button has been added to maps, helping you literally explore an area instead of just searching for specific locations. This feature allows you to pull up local destinations if you are unfamiliar with an area or just want to uncover things you never noticed before. Users can search the area for categories like “Shop” or “Sleep” or even “Eat” to find local businesses. This feature is intended to combat other sits like Foursquare and Yelp, both of which have been a threat to Maps.
Some features from Waze are being integrated into Maps since Google purchased the popular social mapping website. Specifically, Google Maps users will be able to report incidents such as traffic accidents and other obstacles to travel. This means you can immediately know if a route you plan on taking to get somewhere is going to lead to problems or not. Users can also check in at various physical locations as well as see which of their friends are nearby, increasing the social interactions that are available through Maps.
Further increasing social interaction and a pooling of knowledge, the new Google Maps allows users to leave reviews of various establishments. Was room service at a particular hotel not up to snuff? You can leave a review stating such in Maps. Was the food at a particular restaurant not what you were expecting? Warn others by leaving a review. This review feature of course puts Maps in direct competition with other websites like Urbanspoon, which also allow users to review various establishments.
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