Tag Archives: LatLong

Where’s Waldo? Find him in Google Maps

Hello, friends!

My name is Waldo. I love to travel around the globe—it’s a whole world of fun.

I’m always on the lookout for fantastic new places to explore. My last adventure started in sun-sational Mountain View, CA where I visited the terrific team at Google, including Google Maps product managers Max Greenwald and Shreena Thakore. Wow!

By the way, I’m not traveling on my own. Wherever I go, my trusty friends Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard, and even that pesky Odlaw go as well. You can come, too—all you have to do is find me!

Starting today, you can use Google Maps to join in my amazing adventures for April Fools this week. Are you prepared for a perplexing pursuit? I’ve shared my location with you on Android, iOS and desktop (rolling out now). To start the search, simply update your app or visit google.com/maps on desktop. Then press play when you see me waving at you from the side of your screen. You can even ask the Google Assistant on your phone, Chromebook or Home device, “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?” to start.

Waldo Maps GIF

The fun doesn’t stop there. Once you spot me, you’ll be transported to places all around the world, where you can search for me over and over again. Incredible!

You can win wonderful and wacky badges throughout your journey by finding me and my friends. Remember, there’s Woof (but all you can see his is tail), Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, and Odlaw.

Ready to join me on my travels? If you find me, take a screenshot and share it with @GoogleMaps on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WaldoMaps. Let the journey begin!

Source: Google LatLong


#LetsGuide: Someone out there needs a guide like you

There are at least seven kinds of Local Guides who share their knowledge on Google Maps. And there are many more reasons that people in the Local Guides community help others discover the right places in cities around the world. Our #LetsGuide campaign shows what our Local Guides are into, from the dog parks they photograph to every coffee shop they obsessively review. Even if you’re not a Local Guide (and you can be one, too), you can put topics that matter to you on the Map.

One of the best ways? Make lists.

Just check out this Barcelonian with a “furry friend” who keeps an eye out for pet-friendly places. Or there are lists like Iconic Theatres in Buenos Aires, Places to Watch Cricket in Delhi, and this irresistible round-up of Tacos de Carnitas in Mexico City. Here are five tips for creating a Google Maps list that you’ll want the world to see:

  1. Give your list a clear title, so people know what it’s about. Feel free to add a little flair: “Jazz Clubs” are fun, but what about “Jazz Clubs with the Best Sax Solos in Lisbon”? 
  2. Say more about your list in the “Description” to let your personality shine through. For example: “Check out these spots in Barcelona if you’re a backpacker on a budget.” And don’t forget to add #LetsGuide!
  3. Include at least five local places that fit your theme.
  4. Use the Comments field (on desktop and Android) to add details like your favorite item on the menu or a can’t-miss exhibit.
  5. Make the list public by going to Sharing options, and post it on social with #LetsGuide
For first-timers, there are two ways to get started. You can either search for a place you want to put on your the list, open it, and tap "SAVE." Or start with your title, by going to the Google Maps menu, tapping "Your places," then "SAVED," and the + sign at the bottom right of your screen.
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We’ll be featuring our favorite lists on our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages, so make sure to use #LetsGuide when you share your lists on social and we might feature yours. Need a little inspiration to get started? Check out our #LetsGuide wheel for some ideas of the types of people you can help.

Source: Google LatLong


Introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation

Google Maps was built to help people navigate and explore the world, providing  directions, worldwide, to people traveling by car, bicycle or on foot. But in city centers, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs. Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn’t always readily available or easy to find. To make public transit work for everyone, today we’re introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs.

Adam, Lucy, Omari and Meridyth shared their experience using public transportation.

To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration—for example, whether a transit station has accessible stops, platforms, entrances and exits.  Starting today, this feature is rolling out in major metropolitan transit centers around the world, starting with London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney. We're looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps.

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In addition to making public transportation more accessible, people around the world have been helping us add accessibility information to Google Maps. Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions—like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom—for more than 12 million places. Additionally, we’ve been busy capturing and updatingStreet View imagery of transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time.

 

We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you’re on crutches or pushing a stroller. With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contribute local knowledge, we’re making progress toward a more accessible world for everyone.

Source: Google LatLong


Now on iOS: one-tap access to real-time commute info and places around you

Whether we like it or not, sometimes life just flies by. And in the moment, every minute counts. Just one minute can be the difference between catching the last train or walking home in the rain. Or getting to that new restaurant in time to snag the last table. Last year we updated Google Maps for Android to provide access to helpful everyday info–in real time–at the bottom of the home screen. Now we’ve rolled out that same useful update to Google Maps for iOS as well.


Just swipe up and you’ll see three tabs–the explore tab, driving tab and transit tab–that will help you find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic, or catch the next bus. No matter what iOS device you’re using, Google Maps can get you where you’re going and help you explore the world around you.

Source: Google LatLong


Meet the couple that guides together


Local Guides come from all over the world, and they form a community of people who share their knowledge on Google Maps—everything from photos and reviews of local restaurants to accessibility information.

And for one long-distance couple, the Local Guides community helped bridge the miles between Malaysia and Bangladesh. Sumaiya Zafrin Chowdhury and Pavel Sawar got married in 2013 and became Local Guides in 2015. Nine months ago, Pavel moved to Malaysia to study information technology, and Sumaiya stayed in Bangladesh to pursue her career as an entrepreneur, community leader and social worker.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting this Local Guides love story. We spoke to Sumaiya and Pavel about how they enjoy the community together, and how Local Guides helps them stay connected while they’re apart.

Tell us where it all began: how did you meet?

Pavel: I first saw Sumaiya at a social work event in 2012…first look, fell in love. One day I went to visit a slum, and saw her there serving underprivileged people. I am fascinated by her work.

You’ve been apart for nine months. How do you make a long-distance relationship work?

Sumaiya: I went to Malaysia twice and we had great fun together. We discovered many places. We try to meet every three months. We manage our relationship through social media, especially via video call and chatting through Google Hangouts. We share songs and pictures also.

When you’re in the same place, what are your favorite things to do together?

Pavel:Sumaiya and I love to travel very much. As Local Guides, we also love to arrange meet-ups together and do social work and community activities.

So you connect over Local Guides together?

Sumaiya:Yes, we use Local Guides community and Maps to plan activities and date nights. Sometimes, we celebrate our special days through mapping. We plan to visit new places and compare our points. Mapping and meet-ups are our favorite part.

Pavel: Every day we discuss Local Guides. When Sumaiya arranges a meet-up, I try to help her. When I arrange one Sumaiya helps me lot. We discuss our contributions, photo views, quality reviews, etc. Local Guides helps us to spend more time together. Local Guides makes our relationship closer.

Why did you both decide to join Local Guides?

Pavel:Personally I love traveling, taking photos, and eating at different restaurants. As a traveler and explorer, I use Google Maps almost every day. I love to discover new places and I love to take photos. With Local Guides, I can help any other travelers also. I feel I am helping people in my community. Local Guides are like my family. It’s now part of my life.

Sumaiya: Pavel introduced me to Local Guides back in 2015. I joined in March 2015 because I love technology, traveling and photography. With Local Guides, I can do something positive for my society; that's why I was interested to join.

We recently did a post about seven kinds of Local Guides. Which ones do you identify with?

Pavel: The Visualist and the Trailblazer.

Sumaiya: I identify as a Fact Hunter because I want all to know real information about a place…and Trailblazer because I love to discover and add new places.

For those that are new to Local Guides, what advice do you have for someone just getting started?

Pavel: First, spend some quality time on Local Guides Connect. See how others in the community are doing. Arrange meet-ups. Please contribute on Local Guides to be a good citizen. Don’t focus on points.

Sumaiya:Upload proper pictures in proper places. Post useful and informative reviews that one can easily understand. Do meet-ups so that people can know about this community. And for the people of my own country, I want to advise them: please contribute more, add new places, and do your best reviews so that tourists can understand that our country is very beautiful.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Sumaiya: Pavel is very punctual. This is the part of his character I like the most. He’s also a very trustworthy and hard-working person. He is very caring…he always supports me and appreciates my work.

Pavel: I can’t appreciate Sumaiya in a single sentence. Sumaiya is not only a good wife, she is also a good mentor for me. She gives support to me for my every good work. Without her I am nothing.

To discover a few beautiful (and unusual) places this Valentine's Day, check out these lists of romantic restaurants around the world, and film locations for famous love stories.

Source: Google LatLong


Seven kinds of Local Guides you might spot on Google Maps

What kind are you?

Satellites are famously effective for mapping, but they don’t take photos of must-have breakfast sandwiches, update hours of operation or tell families when places are wheelchair accessible. That’s Local Guides territory. Local Guides are people who share information on Google Maps to help others discover where to go—and there are more than 60 million of them in our global community, with the most prolific contributors hailing from the United States, India and Brazil. They guide worldwide users each day, rack up millions of views, support small businesses and literally put important, sometimes vital, information on the map for others to use.

Anyone can become a Local Guide—and once you do, you'll become part of a dynamic community. Each contributor is different, with specific passions and ways of sharing. Here are seven inspiring specialists we’ve spotted, with tips on how to do what they do.

1. The visualist

Local Guides love taking photos—in fact, they shared more than 300 million of them on Google Maps last year. If you’re a visualist, it’s your favorite way to contribute.

Loves: Seeking photogenic spots, finding the beauty in everyday places, making the most of golden hour.

Tip: You can share your shots of places right from Google Photos. Just tap the share icon on Android and select Add to Maps. Then select or update the location before you post it.

The Visualist.jpg

2. The fact hunter

In many parts of the world, essential information like where to find an ATM or a clinic may be hard to come by. Fact hunters uncover these details to share with others on Google Maps.

Loves: Accurate listings on Google Maps, adding missing info for small businesses, moving location pins so people can find places.

Tip: On Google Maps for mobile, go to Your contributions in the menu and tap Uncover missing info to see which places need your expertise.

The Fact Hunter.jpg

3. The trailblazer

If a friend has ever asked you for the hottest new restaurant in town, you might be a trailblazer. These Local Guides have the pulse of their cities and love being the first to try a new place.

Loves: Adding the first review or photo to a place, putting unlisted places on the map.

Tip: Check out restaurants and local shops opening this year so you can add their first photos and get those views.

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4. The sage

If a review has ever helped you choose whether to stay by the sea or by the bay, you can thank a sage. No matter where they go, these Local Guides write about all the inside tips, from the best exhibits to visit to the best instructors to take at a fitness studio.

Loves: Dropping knowledge and tips in reviews, answering yes/no questions about places that pop up on your screen, responding to others via the new Questions & answers feature that shows up on Google Maps for Android.

Tip: Turn on your Location History to easily review all the places you’ve been, and make lists of your favorites.

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5. The multimedia guru

Equipped with plenty of battery packs, this Local Guide helps you see a place from every angle with 360 photos and video contributions like visual tours and on-camera reviews. 

Loves: Adding 360 photos and videos of places, going to great lengths for the perfect shot.

Tip: If you take a video on your phone, you can add up to 30 seconds of it to a place the same way you’d add a photo to a place on Google Maps.

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6. The connector

This Local Guide’s contributions go beyond Google Maps. From hosting meet-ups with other community members to chiming in on Connect (the forum for Local Guides), the connector is a friendly face for newbies and gurus alike. 

Loves: Hosting meet-ups, making lists about places to go and sharing them with friends, liking other people’s reviews.

Tip: Find out if a Local Guides meet-up is happening near you.

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7. The advocate

Local Guides champion many causes, from helping small businesses to making it easier for wheelchair users to get around. The advocate keeps a cause top-of-mind while they share info, like whether a place has a wheelchair ramp.

Loves: Doing good in the world for locals and visitors alike, this handy accessibility guide for sharing helpful info, watching Local Heroes videos on Local Guides’ YouTube channel.

Tip: When you mark something as wheelchair-accessible, it helps families with strollers, too.

TheAdvocate.jpg

Which kind of Local Guide are you? However you want to contribute, check out your Local Guides status and places that need your knowledge by visiting Your contributions in the Google Maps menu. The more you share, the higher levels you reach as you earn points for each review, photo, and bit of info you add on Google Maps.

Source: Google LatLong


The making of “A Ride to Remember,” a film about BikeAround

Editor’s Note: Orlando von Einsiedel is the director of the Oscar-winning Netflix short documentary, “The White Helmets.” His first feature, “Virunga,” won more than 50 international awards including an EMMY, a Peabody, a Grierson and a duPont-Columbia Award for outstanding journalism. Last year, we had the opportunity to work with Orlando on a short film about Laila and Bengt Ivarsson. Bengt was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is testing an experimental technology that triggers memory using Google Maps. Orlando’s documentary is a powerful account of the couple and their experiences.


Like many people, I’ve experienced the sadness of seeing an older relative losing their memory. It's a strange and painful experience, to see someone you know and love become confused and disorientated—to see them lose their grasp on the world.


It makes you realize how our memories provide us with much of the context and structure for who we are today. The interactions we have with friends and family aren’t static, isolated in time and place. They are ever evolving, informed by what has happened in our shared and personal histories. To lose the context for those interactions must be terrifying.


That’s why I was excited to hear about the BikeAround project—which pairs a stationary bike with Google Street View to give patients a virtual visit to a place from their past—and the way it helps spark memories in people suffering from dementia.


I first worked with Google on the Moon Shot film in 2016. Then earlier this year they came to me with an idea to tell the story about the developing BikeAround technology and how it’s affecting individuals who suffer from dementia. Google released a short version of the film in September, and you can watch the full version now.
BikeAround

It's one thing to be shown a photo and to remember the place. It's quite another to feel that you are visiting a location, and to have that experience trigger memories that you thought had gone. But this is indeed what BikeAround does. We saw numerous people using the device, and each of them was able to travel to a time and place that they clearly hadn't visited for a long while. Just as importantly, it also allowed these men and women to take control. The elderly, and those with dementia, often lose autonomy and become isolated. But with BikeAround, they were not only free to explore the world—they were also in charge of the journey. They could revisit places they had been to decades before. They were able to take their husband or wife to the church where they were married. And they could show their grandchildren the places of their youth.


Bengt and Laila Ivarsson were so generous in candidly sharing their lives with us, and it was this experience that made working on this project so special. Their love and support for one another in the face of growing difficulty is something that has really stayed with me, and to see the memories BikeAround triggered for Bengt was incredibly moving. I hope you find the Ivarssons’ story as enriching to watch as it was for us to film.

Source: Google LatLong


Never miss your stop again – with step-by-step directions in transit navigation

Traveling on a bus or train is the time for you to do your best music-listening, news-reading, and social-media scrolling ... as long as you don't miss your stop.


A new feature on Google Maps for Android keeps you on track with departure times, ETAs and a notification that tell you when to transfer or get off your bus or train. And you can track your progress along the way just like you can in driving, walking or biking directions.

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To check out the new feature, head into Google Maps. Type your destination, select transit directions, then choose your preferred route. Tap the “Start” button to get on your way (and you won’t miss your stop this time).

Source: Google LatLong


A crabtivating journey: Street View joins a crab migration of millions on Christmas Island

From herds of elephants in Kenya to penguins in Antarctica and frogs in the Amazon, the Street View Trekker has met some charming characters on its journeys around the world.  This week, Street View is venturing to Christmas Island, a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, to join more than 45 million local residents for their annual trip from the forests to seas. Christmas Island’s famous, endemic red crabs have begun their once-a-year migration

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Red crabs marching in the rainforest.

For most of the year, these land crabs stay burrowed in Christmas Island’s lush damp forests to preserve body moisture and protect themselves from harsh sunlight. But each year, they emerge from the forest shelter to march to the sea to spawn near the coastal waters. These bright red residents wait patiently for a precise alignment of the rains, moon cycle and tides to commence their journey. They’re starting to paint the town red and Dr. Alasdair Grigg on behalf of Parks Australia, is carrying the Street View Trekker to collect imagery of this yearly miracle for all to see. The migration concludes on the ocean shores when the highest density of crabs spawn and lay their eggs in the sand—a finale forecasted for December 13.

The volume of red crabs presents unprecedented conditions for the Street View image capture. As crabs crowd the roads, boardwalks and beaches, each step must be taken with care. Fortunately, crabs have right of way on Christmas Island, and Parks Australia has built walls and fencing along roads to direct the crossers to safety.

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Whether you’re in Ballarat, Bogota or Berlin, soon you’ll be able to experience the Christmas Island crab migration, and its grand finale (the spawning) on Street View. We invite you to join this marvelous march—and see why Sir David Attenborough calls this phenomenon one of the “most astonishing and wonderful sights.” You can expect to see the imagery from this collection on Street View in early 2018.

Source: Google LatLong


It’s the most wonderful time of the year—Santa’s Village is back in business!

It’s that time of year again—Santa Claus is coming to town! We’re only 24 days away from takeoff, so Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all of the elves and reindeer are wrapping presents and readying the sleigh.

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Join in the merriment, and visit Santa's Village every day through December 24 to uncover new games and holiday cheer. Learn to code the famous elf dance with Code Boogie, create original artwork in Santa's Canvas, and take part in what could be the world’s largest virtual snowball fight. (Shhh, we weren’t supposed to tell you about that one.)

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With the new “Santa Snap” game, available only on the Android app, you can fly your jetpack-ed elf around the globe in Google Maps and take “elfies” with famous world landmarks. Use the accelerometer to focus the lens and take a pictures at just the right time.

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On December 24, grab hot chocolate and tune into Santa Tracker to follow the big guy and his trusty reindeer as they make their way around the globe. See where Santa’s going, the number of presents he’s delivered, and learn about different holiday traditions along the way. You can even ask the Google Assistant: “Ok Google, where is Santa?” Try it out with your Assistant on an Android phone, iPhone and Google Home to check in on old St. Nick.

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If you’re a teacher or parent, we’ve added resources to our education page where you can easily download lesson plans with video tutorials and access all of the educational games.

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Join the residents of the North Pole for all of these adventures and games on Android, iOS, and Chrome and be sure to visit Santa’s Village each day to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Source: Google LatLong