Thanks to a recent overhaul on Google Maps, users can now access even more customization options, extra features while enjoying the brand new look.
But if using the service still leaves you scratching your head, then check out these useful tips and tricks to help you navigate the best that the maps service has to offer:
The search box has been tweaked to tackle specific searches like "libraries in New York" or "art galleries in San Francisco." Suggestions will also appear as you type to help you narrow down a vague query. You can also input latitude and longitude coordinates, or two roads (separated with "&") to find the corresponding intersection.
Relevant Results To Your Area
You can run further queries from the search box based on the section of the map that's currently visible. This includes searching for abstract terms like "family fun," "indoor activities," or "art and literature" that will produce relevant results for your chosen area. Zoom in to see fewer results; zoom out to see more.
The Asterisk Trick
Use the asterisk trick to find out everything about a particular neighborhood or street before you visit. Enter "*" into the search box and hit Enter / click the blue search button to see everything in a particular area that Google Maps knows about. Places marked with a yellow halo are recommended locations that Google Maps thinks you'll like, based on your previous Maps history and ratings.
Plan Your Routes
If you want to make a specific detour or avoid a certain area, you can manually change these routes yourself. Justr hover over the blue route line to see a white dot before dragging this dot anywhere you like to alter your travel plans. The steps of the journey, the distance, and the estimated time will all be updated automatically based on your changes.
Save the cache the current map on the mobile app by entering "ok maps" into the search box. This provides a quick and easy way of storing particular sections of the map for offline use, which could prove especially usueful for places with poor signal.
When using the mobile version, you can share the results of a search or after you've placed a pin on the map. Just tap the location bar at the bottom then choose "Share." This will pull up all the available options based on the other apps you have installed in the device.
Double-tap to zoom
A faster way to zoom that doesn't involve pinching. The trick is to double-tap on the screen but not release your finger after the second tap. Then you can just slide up the screen to zoom in, and down the screen to zoom out. This single-finger shortcut works on both Android and iOS versions of Google Maps.
Check the "Your circles" option that appears whenever you run a search to view any recommendations posted on maps by the people inside your Google+ circles. The usefulness of the feature will depend on how many Google+ contacts you have, and how diligent they've been in reviewing the restaurants, hotels and bars they've visited.
Find Postal Addresses
This can prove pretty useful if you want to send a package somewhere you're not sure about. Clear the search box, click on any street and the address and ZIP code appear. Then drop a marker on to the map, zoom into Street View, get directions to or from the place in question or use the links under "Explore this area" to find nearby points of interest.
Modify Google Maps
Probably the best feature of all, Google's Map Maker enables users to make minor corrections, drop in new locations and add other edits for the benefit of Google Maps users around the globe. All modifications must be approved by Google's team of moderators before going live.
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