Tag Archives: LatLong

Find Halloween tricks, treats and other goodies in your neighborhood

You can find pretty much anything on Google Maps—a restaurant that matches your personal preferences, a place to charge your electric vehicle, or your local farmer’s market. But for those instances when Google Maps itself doesn’t have what you need, Google Maps Platform powers millions of third party experiences to help you find what you’re looking for—using the same map you know and love.  


For Halloween, that means Nextdoor’s annual Halloween Treat Map, which allows neighbors to mark their homes with a candy corn icon if they plan to pass out candy, a haunted house icon if they plan to give their neighbors a spooky trick, or a teal pumpkin icon if they plan to pass out non-food treats.


                                             


Wondering why the non-food treat option exists? According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), one in 13 children has a food allergy. For children with allergies, even a tiny trace of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction. Unfortunately, many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat, which are some of the most common allergens in children and adults. By providing non-food treats, neighbors can help create a safe, fun alternative for children with food allergies and other conditions for whom candy may present a problem. And the Treat Map helps parents of those children find the homes in their neighborhood to stop by to make sure they have a safe and fun trick-or-treat experience.


Nextdoor is a free and private social network for neighborhoods used in over 210,000 communities across the globe—so chances are you’ll have a Treat Map in your very own neighborhood. To see for yourself, download the Nextdoor app from Google Play or the App Store or find it on the web at www.nextdoor.com.

Source: Google LatLong


Bust ghosts in the newest game built with Maps—Ghostbusters World

Earlier this year, we introduced a new way for game developers to create real world games using information about the world from Google Maps. It enables game studios to easily reimagine our world as whatever they can dream up and helps them find the best places in the world for players to fuel up or start a mission.


With Ghostbusters World™, the newest game built with Google Maps, you can grab your virtual proton pack and bust ghosts—all as you explore a game world built on the Google Maps you know and love. Brought to you by Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Ghost Corps, publisher FourThirtyThree Inc. (4:33), and developer Next Age, Ghostbusters World is available for free on Google Play and the App Store now.

                                                   

As a Ghostbuster, your mission is to “bust” ghosts to keep the world safe and ghost-free (just in time for Halloween, in case you’re superstitious). Lurking among 3D buildings, landmarks and parks, you’ll find hundreds of ghosts from all dimensions of the Ghostbusters franchise like Wes Pinker, Splat and Achira—in addition to fan favorites like Stay Puft and Slimer. Catch them in your proton beam to drain their energy and then capture them in your containment unit. As you advance in the game, you’ll gain access to the latest in spectral neutralization and trapping technology.

                                                     

Because some ghosts are just too strong to take down on your own (would you want to face Stay Puft solo?), you can team up with nearby Ghostbusters in multiplayer boss raids. Not a team player? No problem. If competition is what you’re after, just build up your ghost team (the ghosts you capture and store in your bank) and enter battles against other Ghostbusters around the world to gain valuable resources needed to make your ghosts stronger.

                                                      

For those Ghostbusters who delight in the story—not just the action—there’s an all original story mode featuring your favorite classic characters. And if you’re feeling festive (or daring) this Halloween, there’s an AR Mode (built with ARCore on Android) that lets you blur the lines between ghostly fantasy and reality.

                                                        

If you want to do your part to make sure your local streets are ghost-free this Halloween, try Ghostbusters World. Download it now from Google Play and the App Store.


Source: Google LatLong


Meet the Local Guide who’s the king of onion rings on Google Maps

Scroll through Tyler Groenendal’s profile on Google Maps and you’ll immediately notice one thing: the guy is really, really passionate about onion rings. He’s written 47 detailed reviews about them at places across the U.S. With his “Onion Ring Standard,” Tyler has definitely found a way to make his reviews stand out—and just in time for National Greasy Foods Day!


To celebrate this fun U.S. holiday, we spoke with Tyler to learn more about what it’s like to be an expert onion ring reviewer, his tongue-in-cheek approach to food reviews and his tips on what makes a food review great.


You seem very passionate about onion rings! Can you share more about that?


My interest in onion rings began in college, when I started to notice a correlation. Restaurants that produced good onion rings tended to be good at making other sorts of food. Gradually, this developed into a system of thought, one that I call the “Onion Ring Standard.” The theory goes that onion rings are simple, and easy to cheap out on—either in quality of ingredients or prep time—and still be passable, from the perspective of most people. However, if a restaurant goes to the trouble of hand-making onion rings, in a quality way with quality ingredients, it's indicative as to the effort they put into the rest of the menu.                                                      


What inspired you to start writing reviews on Google Maps?


Google Maps provided the largest immediate platform where my reviews of onion rings could impact and inform the most people.


What information do you think is important to include in your reviews of onion rings?


I review based on four broad categories.

  1. Presentation and appearance — takes into account the plating, the quality of the batter, the color, and so on.

  2. Taste — looks at the overall taste of the onion itself, the breading or batter and any accompanying dipping sauce.

  3. Texture — looks at the overall mouthfeel, the crunchiness of the batter, the mushiness of the onions and so on. This category also accounts for overall structural integrity.

  4. Value—Given the quality and quantity of the onion rings, and the price I paid for them, does it match up to be a good value?


Finally, a picture of the onion rings, as they look when they arrive, plated, at my table, is essential.


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What do you look for in the perfect onion ring?


Generally speaking, though not exclusively, a perfect onion ring will consist of a thickly cut onion (both tall and wide), a consistent beer battering or more traditional breading, with both the onion and batter fried to an optimal texture and color. That is, they aren't overdone, the onions aren't mushy or too raw, the batter is cooked through, but not burned and the parts aren't separable. Separability of parts is the biggest plague in the world of onion rings today.


What do great onion rings tell you about the restaurant you ordered them from?


Essentially, great onion rings tell me that the restaurant puts time and care into even the most mundane dishes. I view onion rings as a proxy for the quality of any given restaurant.


What do you hope people learn or feel when they see your reviews and photos on Google Maps?


First and foremost, I hope that people learn about what (in my opinion, at least) constitutes a good onion ring, and whether or not the onion rings at these particular restaurants correspond to that. The onion ring reviews are written in a unique tone I've developed over the past two years. It's simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and completely serious. The "joke," if there is one, is that I treat this with the utmost care and precision. The hyperbolic nature of the language of the reviews plays into that. Fundamentally, I want people to feel entertained and enlightened at the same time.


What information do you wish more people included in their reviews?


I wish more people included the value. It's not enough for me to just know the food was "good" or "alright.” How did it match up to what you paid for it?


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Do you have any tips for writing more helpful reviews?


Just like in business, where the ultimate decider is the consumer, so too with reviews. What does your audience want? This will vary wildly from venue, to type of location and even geographic location. Don't be afraid to be in-depth. I think a lot of people are content to slam a few sentences down and call it a day. If you write something quality, even if it's long, they WILL read it.


Anything else you'd like to add?


Only an appeal to all the restaurants of the world, or at least those that make onion rings. There are two great scourges to this particular cuisine, among many. The first, which I've dubbed "slippage," occurs when a loose piece of onion slides out of the breading or batter, leading to a pile of greasy batter in one hand, and a mushed up onion on my plate. The second, similarly dubbed "shedding," is the reverse, wherein the onion remains solid, but the breading or batter chips off, is rarer, though equally negative.


Beyond that, I think that too many restaurants use dipping sauce as a crutch. If you have sub-par onion rings with a pretty good ranch or zesty sauce, ultimately, the sauce merely serves to mask the (lack of) flavor in the onion rings. In extreme cases, the onion rings serve as little more than a vehicle for a delicious sauce.


For more greasy food inspiration, check out lists from other Local Guides on Google Maps like French Fries in the Twin Cities, Fried Chicken in LA or where to get the best fish fry in Milwaukee.


Source: Google LatLong


Fresh ways to stay up to date on your favorite places and find new ones

Ever wandered by your favorite store just to find out you missed a great sale? Or maybe you’re always the last of your friends to find out about the new hot spots opening in town. With more than 150 million places on Google Maps and millions of people looking for places to go, we made two updates so it’s even easier for you to keep up with the places you care about and find out about places coming soon. 

Those using Google Maps for Android can now follow places right from the app. Rolling out now, just search for that coffee shop you love or that clothing store you’ve been meaning to pop into and tap the “Follow” button. Once you’ve followed places, news from them—like events, offers and other updates—will appear in the For you tab (where available, with more countries coming soon!). 

                                           


And for those of you who want to be in the know about all the new places opening around town, you’ll start seeing profiles for places before they even open on Google Maps for Android and mobile search—just look for the opening date in orange.


               

Places that are opening soon can create a free Business Profile that will appear to people up to 3 months in advance of opening—letting trendsetters know ahead of time to mark their calendars. The feature is rolling out over the next few weeks and places interested in making sure their coming soon locations are shown on Maps and Search can get started with Google My Business here

Source: Google LatLong


A better way to share your ETA with Google Maps

Getting where you need to go is important, but making it to your destination safe and sound is the most important thing of all. Today, Google Maps is improving journey sharing on Android and bringing it to iOS, making it easier to share your ETA with loved ones so you can keep your hands off your phone and your eyes on the road. Here’s how it works:

After you’ve started navigating to a destination, tap on the ˄ button and then on “Share trip progress.” From here you’ll be able to share your live location, route, and ETA with all your favorite contacts. Today’s update also allows for sharing across 3rd party apps like Facebook Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, and more—so you can communicate with friends on the platforms you prefer. Once your journey ends, you’ll automatically stop sharing your location.


journey sharing ios

Improved journey sharing is now available for driving, walking, and cycling navigation on Android and iOS. To get started, make sure to update Google Maps from the Play Store or App Store.




Source: Google LatLong


Get charged up with Google Maps

We built Google Maps to help people get where they need to go no matter what mode of transportation they use. Our newest feature brings helpful information about electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the Map, so you can be confident that your car will be charged and ready for your ride, wherever you’re headed. Here’s how it works:

A quick search for keywords like “ev charging” or “EV charging stations" will display the nearest supported stations. To help you make a quick decision about which station to use, we’ll show you information about the business where the station is located, the types of ports available, charging speeds, and how many ports there are. You’ll also see information about the station from drivers, including photos, ratings, reviews and questions.

ev charging search

In addition, businesses that have charging stations will now feature a link to information about the chargers.


ev host

Google Maps now supports charging stations around the world, including:


Global: Tesla, Chargepoint

US:SemaConnect, EVgo, Blink

UK:Chargemaster, Pod Point

AU & NZ: Chargefox


The ability to search for electric vehicle charging stations starts rolling out today on Android and iOS, with desktop launching in the coming weeks. To get started on mobile, update your Google Maps app from the App Store or Play Store today.

Source: Google LatLong


Inside Google’s original garage, 1998-style

You may remember 1998 as a glorious year filled with endless games of Snake on your brick phone (you couldn’t go through the walls yet) and listening to “Baby One More Time” at max volume on your discman. Meanwhile, in Susan Wojcicki’s disused garage in California, two university students, Larry and Sergey, decided they were going to organize the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone.

To celebrate Google’s 20th birthday, today we invite you to travel back in time and take a virtual stroll through the original Google Garage in Street View—(almost) just like it was 20 years ago.

garage - blue door

The original blue side door to the Google Garage on Santa Margarita, Menlo Park

As you walk through the garage’s side door, you’ll note a familiar Search box on an old “CRT” computer monitor held up by a wooden workhorse table with yellow legs. Larry and Sergey were particularly thrilled that use of the washing machine and dryer was included in their rent.

Garage Computer Hero shot.png

As you chase cables that scramble haphazardly down the hallway, you’ll find a bedroom (ahem, “main office”) with a whiteboard that reads “Google’s Worldwide Headquarters” in black text. On another whiteboard, you’ll see a cheeky homage to Google’s logo update back in 1998. Doesn’t the delightful wallpaper remind you of tea at your grandparents' place?

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As the team grew to six people, they expanded their workspaces into the three small bedrooms on the ground floor. Hunt around and you’ll find a collapsible mini rainbow sphere, a surf-frog terrarium, a dinosaur, a ping pong table, and a piano keyboard for music breaks.

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If you want to see exactly how the same space looked back in 1998, check out this archival video clip captured by Harry, Google’s sixth employee.

Google Garage Early Days

For a peek through Google history, just find the secret trapdoor and turn on the neon light—a secret easter egg world awaits you. 😉

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Source: Google LatLong


All together now: group planning on Google Maps

This may sound familiar: you and your friends are trying to pick a place for dinner, but no one wants to make the decision and you don't know where to go. How do you decide on a place that your BBQ aficionado bestie, quinoa-loving sister, and wannabe foodie friend can all enjoy without scrolling through a ton of links in group text messages?


Starting today, you can use Google Maps to easily plan where to go as a group. Simply long press on any place to add it to a shortlist - the small floating bubble on the side of your screen. Once you've added places, you can quickly share the list with your friends on any messaging platform, add or remove additional places, and vote together in Google Maps.


The group planning feature starts rolling out on Android and iOS this week. To get started, download the Google Maps app or update it from the Play Store or App Store.


Source: Google LatLong


Cruising around a supervolcano lake in Street View

Around 75,000 years ago (give or take a couple of millennia), a supervolcano erupted on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, throwing out so much ash that it created a volcanic winter lasting several years. The eruption was so massive that the volcano collapsed under its own power, creating the caldera we now call Lake Toba.


At over 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometres wide, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. A small team of Googlers spent the last two months scouring every meter of its coastline, using a Street View Trekker mounted on a boat,  to collect gorgeous 360-degree imagery around this former supervolcano.


It may have been a fiery pit of lava in the distant past, but today, Lake Toba is a lush Indonesian rainforest, home to an abundance of native animals like orangutans and tapirs. We weren’t able to catch any of these creatures in the imagery, but we did get a lot of other natural attractions.

Lake Toba looms large in the imagination of the Batak, the people who have inhabited the area for centuries. According to Batak legend, a fisherman caught a fish that turned into a beautiful princess. She married him on the condition that he never reveal her true origin. One day, in a fit of impatience at their son, the fisherman called him a son of a fish. When the princess heard her husband had broken his oath, she told her son to climb to the highest peak in the area. She prayed and it began to rain so hard that the resulting flood created a huge lake. The peak, which her son was on became the island of Samosir, revered by the Batak in the area as their original home. The princess? She went back to being a fish!


Today we invite you to explore Lake Toba, now part of our Street View collection of other amazing places in Indonesia like Borobudur and the sites for the 2018 Asian Games.

Source: Google LatLong


Tackle your bucket list with Reserve with Google

The next time you're looking for something fun to do, Google can help you take that surfing class you’ve been dreaming of or visit that amazing museum you’ve been thinking about. You can now book top attractions, activities, and more, directly from Google Search, Maps, and the Assistant via Reserve with Google. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site Casa Batllo in Barcelona to urban kayaking in Chicago, booking an activity is easier than ever before.


Just look for the “Find tickets” button on a place listing (or the “Schedule” button on the Assistant) and tap it. From there you can explore your options, select the number of tickets you need, prepay, and be on your way.




These bookings are possible thanks to integrations with partners like Peek and Tiqets. Additional activities with more businesses will become available as we add new partners like Accesso, Checkfront, CourseHorse, Fareharbor, Musement, Rezdy, and TripAdvisor Experiences.


If you aren’t ready to fly to Paris to visit the Eiffel Tower just yet, don’t worry! You can also book at hundreds of thousands of restaurants, salons, and fitness studios (and more!) in your own backyard right from Google Search, Maps, and the Assistant.


Source: Google LatLong