There was a time when everyone had to deal with the struggle brought on by paper maps, searching for street names and dragging their finger along until the decided-upon destination was discovered. However, with the advancement of technology and the appearance of Google Maps, mapping a trip to the grocery store or across the country has become a much easier task. While creating a map on Google is pretty familiar to most people by now, if it’s a service you use frequently it may be worth knowing a few tricks that can make your mapping experience even more effective.
Map Your Address Book
While many people know how to get to their favorite locations by rote, with Google’s mapping feature you can have all of the addresses you’ll ever need available by simply pinning your friend’s and family’s locations to your own personal maps. All you need to do in order to utilize this neat feature is export your address book into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, clear the ones that you do not want mapped, and then import the spreadsheet into a new map. Once you’ve completed this, the pins will drop and the addresses you require at the ready will be instantly accessible.
Know The Hours Of Your Favorite Places
In an age where almost every restaurant or business has an updated website, it can be more than a little frustrating to go to your favorite retail location only to realize that it’s actually closed. Conveniently enough, Google Maps now has a feature where you can find out this information at the click of the “Search” button. By simply typing in the name of the place you’re heading off to, you’ll be able to see if the business or restaurant has special holiday hours that may have an impact on your visit. While this can be a timesaving feature, be aware that it will only show up on your map search 7 days prior to a major holiday.
Go Back In Time
While this aspect of Street View is only available in certain popular locations around the world like Rome and Paris, this is one of the neatest features you’ll find that comes along with the mapping feature. Street view offers up a relatively current view of streets all over the world, but by searching for a popular locale, you can actually get a look at how the area has changed over time by clicking on the clock icon and the date. This will give you a selection of dates so that you can see how a different area has evolved over the years.
Watch The Cars Go By
Google Maps compiles traffic data that is derived from past information, but this historic data isn’t particularly useful when you’re heading home at the end of a long weekend. Instead of leaving your travel time to chance, you can now use Google’s Live Traffic feature which provides you with the ability to view the traffic for the place you’re going in real time. As a convenient means of planning your route home, this is a great way to avoid a lot of traffic congestion issues that can stop up the end of a trip.
Review Local Transportation Options
It can be more than a little arduous to search for local options for bus and train service when it’s 1 AM and there’s a taxi right in front of you, but Google now has an easy feature that puts this information at your fingertips. By simply mapping the journey of where you are and where you’re going, and clicking on the train icon followed by the setting icon, you can get a description of whether or not your regular route is available at the time you require it. With this feature available in more than 18,000 cities across 64 countries, this is sure to be a benefit for the homeward bound.
Utilize A Map Offline
Mapping is definitely a more useful application when you have Wi-Fi and the ability to determine where you need to go from anywhere, but the mapping application actually offers the ability to see a given area in the event that Internet access isn’t readily available. To save your map for offline viewing later, simply search for the area you want to map, click the “Download” button and save the map. It means you won’t have to worry about finding your destination through a process of trial and error later!
View Your Mapping History
Photo galleries and email searches give you the ability to go back in time and see what you were looking at or doing on a given day, but you may not be aware that Google Maps also has a similar capacity. As long as your location services are clicked on, you can choose the “Your Timeline” option which will give you a listing of all of your map searches. This easily enables you to click on your history so you don’t have to go through the process of searching for a previous location again.
Layer and Map Your Events
If you have a lot of places to go and many people to see, there is a function on Google Mapping that easily allows you to map a number of different events without having to worry about the clutter of mapping multiple locations. By applying the “Add Layers” option on your personal map, you can instantly change the location you’re heading to day after day. All you have to do is name it and save it and it will be added to your personal maps.
Since its advent, Google mapping has become a useful tool for many people to get around the neighborhood or safely travel to destinations throughout the world. Luckily, from plotting your own personal routes to looking back in time to the way a street view has changed, there are a lot of features now included that can really alter the way you utilize mapping. With new innovations on the forefront, the future of mapping is likely to make many of your travel plans a lot more manageable in ways that haven’t yet been envisioned.