5 Useful Google Maps Features You Didn’t Know

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NOTE: This article was part of the content stolen (and published without consent under a different author) from yours truly by an ex-client: Steven J. Hammond or Steve Hammond (profile here) of sylo.eu. Stealing is not cool, yo. All images credited to owners.

No doubt about it, Google Maps is the most reliable of all web mapping systems. And at some point, this app helped you navigate through unfamiliar streets. But if you think you know how to use Google Maps, there’s a good chance that you’ve never dug deeper to discover the service’s hidden features.

Sure, you know how to calculate the fastest route toward a destination or find high res satellite images but there is more to Google Maps than providing panorama view from street level! In today’s post, we are sharing some of the most important Google Map features you need to check out:

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Photo Credit: firstpost.com

A Look Back in Time

If you are using Google Map then you probably know how to use Street View. This feature presents a 360-degree panorama view from street level. Although the Street View feature has only been introduced in 2007, millions of street locations have been added to Google Maps. These stored views allow you to look back in time. Try it by launching the street view window and dragging the yellow figure on a specific area of the map you’d like to explore.

As the panorama loads, there will be a small window in the upper left with your current location. Under the address is a small clock logo and date. Tap this and a slider window will pop. Wait for the slider window to pop to travel back in time.

Check Real Time Traffic

If you think Google Maps does not come with a real-time traffic report like Waze, think again. You can make your own traffic report and keep tabs on traffic data in real time by clicking the Traffic link on the top left corner of the screen.

As the traffic view loads, you will see networks in corresponding colors mapped across the roads. These markers will show you the traffic condition of a specific area. You can also check traffic conditions by toggling the Live Traffic to Typical Traffic on the bottom center of the new toolbar. Using the data, you can predict the best time to travel, any time or any day of the week and plan accordingly.

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Photo Credit: stuff.co.nz

Measuring Distances All Over the World

Did you know Google Maps allows users to measure the distance between two points anywhere in the world with just a click of a button? This feature will come in handy if you are planning a vacation! To give this nifty feature a try, go to the drop-down menu and choose “Measure Distance”.  A white dot with a bold black line will drop on the map.

Now click the map and Google Maps will calculate the distance between these points. Just keep tapping the maps to add more dots. If you are planning a long journey, you can move these points around by dragging and dropping the white dots. The total area and distance will be presented in both Metric and US measurements on the bottom of the map.

Feed Directions to Your Smartphone

Google Maps syncs data from the desktop to a smartphone. This feature allows you to access a certain address and send the data to your mobile device. Just sign in on your mobile device with the same Google Account you use on your PC. Then, find the address you need then click “Send to Device” on the left side menu.

If your device is not appearing on the selection, check if the “Sent From Desktop Maps” option is toggled in your mobile device’s settings menu. You will get the notifications on your mobile device once you hit send.

Virtual Tour

Did you know that Google Maps lets you take a virtual tour of a street just like a First Person Shooter in a video game? Hold the W and S keys and you will move forward and back while the A and S keys shift your gaze from left to right. Just play with these keys and you’ll feel like walking on any street using Google Street View. You can also use the directional arrows to move around your chosen destination!

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Tina Lee-Almazar | Tinaciouslee

Tina Lee-Almazar is a writer and editor based in the Philippines. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting from Centro Escolar University in Manila. She started out as a production associate at ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network in 2004 before transitioning to creative writing in 2006. Her years of experience as a writer resulted in having considerable knowledge in a variety of writing fields. When she’s not surrounding herself with pretty things or discussing herself in the third person, Tina watches funny cat videos all day.

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