Despite being dropped by Apple earlier in the year, and yesterdays news that Amazon may drop Google Maps in favour of their own solution, Google Maps are still going strong and seemingly adding updates every week!
This month Google Maps have added voice activated searches, turn-by-turn navigation for traffic conditions, half a gigameter of biking navigation in 12 countries in Google Maps for Android, more than a million public transport and transit stops, and despite news that infographics links may be discounted in the future, Google have themselves produced an infographic to show us that they know what we did this summer…
As an avid Map Geek/obsessive, I am always happy to share with you the new features in Google Maps! Happy travelling people!
Voice Activated Map Searches
This has been mentioned on google mobile since 2008 but now it is officially with us as ‘Google Maps Navigation‘ (Beta). now you don’t need to type as you are walking along trying to avoid lamposts or finding yourself lost as you didn’t look up while walking, you can use voice activation to find your way around by address, business type or business name.
Turn by Turn Navigation
Now with Traffic information! Useful when driving and possibly more steps towards rivalling Tom Tom (who ‘might’ be currently taking business by way of Amazon Map API). Currently on Major roads with estimated travel times. For more info go here
Google Bike Maps
Access biking directions directly on Google Maps. If your favourite trail is missing or you discover a brand new one – just add it using the Google MapMaker (below). I for one with favour this as I am sad enough to make maps everywhere I go then share them online for other travellers! Biking Directions have been around since 2010 but the ability to add to this as an actual biker means that maps just got a whole lot more two wheel friendly in a heck of a lot of countries. for more info go here
Google Map Maker
Improve the visibility of places that matter to you on Google maps with the Google Mapmaker. You can now add a place, edit a place, add a road, and review edits by other users. Open to abuse? Probably, but there’s no reason to not be first wave before it catches on 🙂
I used to only see this in the USA and Canada and it has always been an invaluable resource while travelling. The announcement that over a million public transit stops has now been added means that even if you don’t speak the language, you don’t have to wait for a random text to appear the next day from a bus stop you tried to use.
You can now select a specific mode of transport – watch ‘layer lines’ in ‘subway mode’ and have a more detailed overview of your chosen station. For more info go here
Google Know what you did last Summer
To round off – a pretty picture with some interesting search stats. Taken from the Google Blog – the Google Maps team have had a bit of fun creating this infographic about popular summer searches in each country with some interesting results – click on the image to see a larger version