Perhaps one of Google Maps’ most useful features is its portability.
Install it in your smartphone, and you have the ability to take your navigation system wherever you are going. In addition to that, Google Maps is always coming up with new additions to its interface and technology, which make it much more useful and user friendly. Unfortunately, few users know how to take advantage of this technology and its updates. Here are some tips to use Google Maps optimally when you are traveling.
Get As Much Information about the Destination in Advance As You Can
Google Maps has images of almost every possible location on Earth. Both Google Earth and Street View constantly work to update locations, distances, and directions. You can view your destination in broad strokes, or finer detail just by clicking on it on Google Maps. So, before you leave your home, take a virtual trip using the Google Earth satellite images. You can also view the nearby streets and look at user submitted pictures of the various landmarks on the way and around your destination. You may also find reviews, tips and other useful information to make your trip a success.
Plan Your Trip Carefully
When you are booking your trip, Google Maps will display you the routes that are usually taken, but it will also show you alternate routes and give you access to Google Flights, which is a brand new tool in its arsenal. So if you feel that an 8 hour road trip is simply too much of a trouble, you can instead, find a 1 hour flight. Google will give you all the information you need to compare – estimated travel times, schedules, road conditions, traffic and a link where you can actually even book flight tickets. So you have a better ability to make comparisons and pick the way you want to travel and the route you want to take.
Learn the Ropes in Unfamiliar Locations
Another nifty feature that Google Maps has is the mass transit tool, which provides you step-by-step instructions for any trip you may have scheduled. It offers you general route information, hours of operation of local public transport and the frequency on specific routes. You can basically now find your way back from anywhere you may be in the whole world. Since Google Maps also lets you list multiple waypoints now, you can create itineraries for your trip and even create route charts. Add your destinations to your list and get a map made especially for you. To make things more interesting, you can share this map with multiple users and send it as an attachment on your email as well.
Always Stay Up to Date
If you are one of the people who hate surprises, you can use Google Map to prepare you for everything. If you do meet a surprise, you can respond to it appropriately. The live traffic information, for instance, protects you from driving into an area that may be seeing a traffic logjam. To make it easier for you, Google will automatically update directions and change the estimated duration for your trip.
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