Tag Archives: Maps

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


Take control of your commute with Google Maps

If you’ve ever been stuck in a hot, crowded subway tunnel or caught in gridlocked traffic wishing that you could magically transport yourself to work, you know that commuting can be hard.


Why are commutes so stressful? They’re unpredictable and long. Commute data in 25 North American cities tells us daily commute times during rush hour traffic can be up to 60 percent longer than what you expect when you start your drive—resulting in a lot of stress, missed meetings, and skipped breakfasts. According to historical Google Maps data, people in North America spend a full day per month commuting—which almost adds up to a two-week vacation each year.  Plus, a bad commute can negatively impact the rest of your day, long after the actual commute is over.


Today, we’re rolling out new features on Google Maps to help you take control of your daily commute— enabling you to plan ahead, prepare for the inevitable disruptions, and possibly avoid them altogether. Oh, and we’ll also help you have a bit of fun along the way. 👍



Know before you go

Google Maps now features a commute tab that provides one-tap access to live traffic and transit information tailored to your commute. We’ll tell you if your commute is going to be a normal one or if you’ll need to budget extra time due to things like an accident or heavy traffic. In the case of a delay, we’ll tell you about alternative routes to help you get to work faster. On Android, you’ll also receive notifications about delays and disruptions on your route as they happen, so you can know about an incident before you get caught up in the delay.  


commutetab

Drive 🚗, walk 🚶🏽 and ride 🚌 : support for mixed-mode commutes

There’s a new feature for people whose commutes involve both driving and public transit. You can see helpful information about when to leave, and for each leg of your trip:  you’ll know if there’s traffic on your drive, when the next train departs, and how long it’ll take to walk from the train station to the office. We do the work for you and automatically factor this into your ETA so you can anticipate exactly when you’ll get to work.


multimodal

Stop the guessing game

Sprinting to the subway station only to find that your train is delayed is our least favorite way to start the day. Now, transit riders in 80 regions worldwide will be able to see exactly where their bus or train is in real time on the map. This will help you plan your day more efficiently—you’ll know if you can spend an extra few minutes grabbing coffee, or if you really do need to make a run for it to catch your bus. And in Sydney, we’ve partnered with Transport New South Wales to show how full you next bus or train is - so you’ll know whether or not you’ll get a seat. This feature will be coming to more cities around the globe soon.


transitboard

Get your motor running, head out on the highway 🎸

If you have to sit in traffic, you may as well do it while listening to good music. We're making Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music available within Google Maps so that you can control your tunes and podcasts right from Google Maps navigation. With Spotify on Android you can also choose your favorite content by browsing through songs, albums, podcasts, and playlists with the new, easy to use navigation. Say goodbye to toggling between apps, and rock out knowing that you can keep your eyes where they should be—on the road.


spotify static

Get started

Our new commute features start rolling out globally on Android and iOS this week. To get started, update your app from the Play Store or App Store. To learn how to set up your commute, visit our Help Center.

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. 😉

EasterEggs_Stringout.gif

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


Tips from the people behind your favorite Google products

I’m one of those people who always cuts it close at the airport—it’s a race through security, with just enough time to grab the airline essentials: water bottle, magazine, a soft pretzel if I’m lucky. But I just learned that I can whip out Google Maps to find my way around the airport (by searching the airport name and terminal number), so I no longer waste time running around looking for my snack of choice.

For two decades, Google has built products that make my life more useful. Eight of these products now have a billion users, and with all that extra time at the airport, I got to thinking—how many other unknown tips and tricks are out there? Since Google is celebrating its 20th birthday this month, I present a party favor: tips on Google’s most-used products, straight from the people who helped build them.

Search

  • For lovers of covers:Try searching for a song and then tapping “other recordings” for different renditions.
  • Don’t burn daylight: Make the most of your daylight hours by knowing when the sun will go down. Search [sunset] to get the time the sun will set today.
  • For content connoisseurs:If you’re a fan of bingeable TV shows or a movie buff, you can see all the places to stream any show or film by searching [watch] followed by the title. (Head’s up: this is available in the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Germany and India). 
Emily Moxley, Director of Product Management


Maps

  • Beat the crowds:Use Google Maps to find out the estimated wait times and popular times to visit your favorite restaurants and businesses. 
  • Don’t get lost in the parking lot:If you’ve ever spent way too long searching for your parked car, this tip’s for you. After navigating to your destination, tap on the blue dot and then “Set as parking location” so you can always find your way back to your parking spot.
  • Quickest route to the airport snacks:If you’re flying to a new place, you can use Google Maps to help you find your way around an airport. A quick search for an airport terminal name, say “SFO Terminal 1,” will show you the lay of the land, including nearby gates, lounges, restaurants and stores.
Dane Glasgow, VP of Product


YouTube

  • Just add popcorn:Developed to cut down on glare and give you that movie theater experience, Dark Theme turns your background dark while you’re watching YouTube. It’s available on desktop, iOS and now rolling out to Android. 
  • Pick your pace:Speed up or slow down the playback of a video by tapping on the three dots at the bottom right of any video. 
  • Take a shortcut:While watching a YouTube video, use the numbered keys to seek in a video. For example, hitting “2” will take you 20 percent into the video, “6” will take you to 60 percent into the video, “0” will restart the video. 
Brian Marquardt, Director of Product Management


Gmail

  • The ultimate to-do list: Open Tasks in your side panel within Gmail, then drag and drop emails to turn your messages into action items. 
  • Shhhh:Declutter your inbox with Gmail’s mute feature, which pushes the entire conversation to your archive and any future conversations on the thread bypass your inbox to be automatically archived as well. 
  • Take it back:Don’t fret over embarrassing typos, unintentional reply-alls, or other email taboos. In your Gmail settings, just implement a 5-30 second cancellation period on your sent emails and once you’ve fired one off, you’ll receive a prompt to “Undo.”

Kevin Smilak, Engineering Director


Google Drive

  • Give your docs a gold star:Find your favorite Drive items by starring your most important docs within the Drive main menu, and then bookmarking your Starred page. 
  • File_name_V2:Freeze moments in time by naming different versions of the docs you edit frequently. In a Doc, Sheet, or Slides go to File > Version History > Name current version. Name any version then access it easily from "Version history" by name. 
  • Your search is our command:Google Drive makes the text within all of the images and PDFs you upload searchable. Try searching for a phrase that you know is inside a picture or PDF, which is especially helpful when you can’t remember your filename. 
Alexander Vogenthaler, Director of Product Management


Android

  • Lost and found:If you’ve misplaced your Android phone, Find My Device lets you locate it by signing into your Google account. Or you can call it directly from a browser by typing “find my device” on Google. Lock your phone remotely or display a message on the lock screen, so if someone finds it they know who to contact. If you’re convinced it’s lost for good, you can erase all your data.
  • Always reachable:Don’t miss any urgent phone calls and messages from important contacts like close family members or your child’s school, even when you have Do Not Disturb turned on. Just add a star to people that matter to you, and then allow calls and messages from “starred contacts only” in Do Not Disturb settings. 
  • Use your voice:You can ask your Google Assistant to handle tasks on your Android phone (running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later). Start by saying “OK Google,” then try “take a screenshot,” “turn on flashlight,” or “open WiFi setting.” You can even ask to “take a selfie”—this will open the camera app and start a countdown. Cheeeeeeeese. 
Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product Management


Google Play

  • When you’re good with faces, but not names:Just hit pause on your movie, tap the circle around the actor or actress's face, and learn more about them and what other movies they’ve been in.
  • Read like a superhero: When you’re reading a comic on your phone, tap on a voice bubble and use your volume buttons to zoom in on the dialogue between two characters.
  • What you wish for:You can create a wishlist to keep track of items you want to install or purchase on Google Play.
Kara Bailey, Global Merchandising Director


Chrome

  • Access history across devices:Open Chrome and click on “History.” From the drop down menu, click “Full History” and “Tabs From Other Devices.” If you’re signed into the same Google account on both your phone and your computer, you’ll see the article you were just about to finish on your way into work.
  • Keeping tabs on your tabs:You can save eight days of time per year using keyboard shortcuts. Try this one in Chrome: jump between tabs at light speed by pressing Ctrl and the tab number you want to go to (i.e., Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Ctrl+3).
  • 👀☝😀 = 🎉. Right-click in any text field for a shortcut to access emoji on any platform Chrome can be found.
Ellie Powers, Group Product Manager, and Chris Beckmann, Product Management Director 

So many tips, so much saved time.

Source: Gmail Blog


5 ways to use Google Maps on Apple CarPlay

Google Maps is now supported by Apple CarPlay, which means that iPhone users can navigate with Google Maps right from their car’s built-in display. Read on to learn how to get the most out of the new experience:


Real time information when you need it: Google Maps on CarPlay features the same navigation experience found in the app. Search for places, see alternative routes and get live, up to date  information about traffic jams and delays happening right now. See an up to the minute ETA so you know exactly when you’ll be at your destination.


Never miss a beat.You know the drill. You’re rushing out the door, and you immediately start navigating on your iPhone to see how long it’ll take you to get to your destination. Google Maps on CarPlay lets you start navigation from your iPhone and immediately pick up where you left off once you’ve connected to CarPlay - because we know that minutes matter when you’re pressed for time.


No data? No problem.You can still find your way even if you have spotty reception or an expensive data plans. Whether you’re camping in the wilderness or traveling abroad, you can use downloaded maps of an area  so you can see directions and use turn by turn navigation even when you can’t get online.


These are a few of our favorite things:If you’re obsessed with creating lists likewe are, you’re in luck. You can access any of your saved lists from Google Maps on CarPlay, and quickly navigate to all of your favorite places with a single tap.


Save time when commuting: If you've set up your commute within the app, you can quickly navigate to home or work. While en route, you’ll see real time traffic updates about your journey so you can be prepared for whatever the ride has in store.


Google Maps is now available to use with CarPlay on all CarPlay supported vehicles and devices globally.

https://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/

To get started, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 12, update your app to Version 5 in the App Store and connect your iPhone via CarPlay. Have an Android phone? Make sure to check out Google Maps onAndroid Auto.

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Source: Google LatLong


Building the map of Canada’s north

In the winter, the sun barely scrapes the horizon in Canada’s high north. The average lows hover in the -30s, roads are covered in snow and polar bear sightings aren’t uncommon. For those who call Canada’s arctic home, winter is a way of life. And the only way to truly understand it, as one resident put it to us, is to see it for yourself.

In 2012, teams from Google Canada and Google Earth Outreach touched down in the tiny fly-in community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, beginning an ambitious program to map the towns, wildlife and parks of Canada’s arctic. At the time, the digital maps of Canada’s north needed work. When you searched for a shop, a hospital or a school, the map pins would all land on the same spot: the post office, because that’s where every person and every business had a PO Box. While traditional cartography had captured the inlets and tundra of the north’s physical geography, there were no digital maps that accurately reflected the world of the people living there.

Street-View-Trike_CambridgeBay.png

Trike in Cambridge Bay

In addition to collecting Street View imagery of the town and surrounding landscape using an oversized tricycle, we worked with the nonprofit, Nunavut Tunngavik, to conduct a “map up” in the local community center. The people of Cambridge Bay, a hamlet of 1,500 people north of the arctic circle, added streets, places of worship and homes directly to the Google Map. This was about more than simply making an accurate and useful map—it was about building a virtual bridge between the communities of Canada’s north and the world.

Anna Nahogaloak is an Inuit elder and renowned seamstress in Cambridge Bay. “People are always asking how we live, how we survive,” she said the first time she saw the map zoom in on her village in Google Maps. “I think that it is important for all people to see Nunavut. This will help them understand and learn more about Nunavut. I think that it is important for Inuit people to contribute to the maps. It is important for everybody. The land is everybody’s land. We all share it.”

After Cambridge Bay, our work in Canada’s north expanded, and the newly developed Trekker allowed us to bring our Street View cameras to even more remote spots. Our teams traveled to Iqaluit, collecting Street View imagery from the frozen streets of Nunavut’s capital, conducting another map up and exploring the frozen landscape from the back of a dogsled. We also partnered with Parks Canada to collect Street View imagery from Canada’s northern parks, including Quttinirpaaq National Park. Located just 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the north pole, it remains the most northern Street View imagery on Google Maps.

To support the conservation efforts of Canada’s arctic wildlife, over the past several years we worked with Polar Bears International and the Arctic Eider Society to take the Street View beyond the towns and onto the arctic’s tundra and ice flows. PBI strapped the trekker to a “tundra buggy” to capture polar bears in their natural environment. And we climbed on board a snowmobile to travel onto the ice of Hudson’s Bay to the small open pools of water where the eider ducks of Canada’s far north spend their winters. The Canadian arctic remains ecologically fragile, vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Street View provides a window for Google Maps users worldwide to explore these fragile habitats.

Bringing Street View to Canada’s arctic gets us closer to our ultimate goal of creating the world’s most comprehensive, accurate and usable map. But it’s also more than that. For any community's sense of place in the digital age, they need to be on the map—that’s as true in Toronto as it is in Sanikiluaq (look it up). Chris Kalluk, who lives in Nunavut and helped us collect the Street View imagery of Canada’s north, thinks about it this way: “Our home is a place with a vast amount of local knowledge and a rich history. By putting these tools in the hands of our people, we will tell Nunavut’s story to the world.”

As we reflect on Google’s 20th birthday this month, we think the story of Canada’s arctic is a story worth being told.

Source: Google LatLong