Google Maps gets tailored experience, richer info, and more
Google Maps is gaining new features that will make exploring even easier, including richer info and an experience that will tailor specifically to your likes. The new features were shown off at Google I/O 2021 in a virtual format from its Mountain View campus.
One of the most exciting changes will provide users with more details of street maps. The feature initially launched last August in select areas, but will be available in 50 more cities by the end of the year, including Berlin, São Paulo, Seattle, and Singapore.
The richer information in Google Maps uses AI to show users where sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian islands are, along with the shape and width of a road to scale. Google said this information can help pedestrians plans the most accommodating route, especially if they’re using a stroller or wheelchair.
Google Maps will also be updated to tailor the experience to individual users. For example, in the morning it can more prominently display breakfast places and coffee shops. Later in the day it can show dinner places, so you can more easily choose where to go. And if you’re traveling somewhere on vacation, Google Maps will better highlight popular tourist destinations and landmarks.
Building on that, Google will expand its business busyness feature to tourist attractions and entire areas, like a neighborhood or popular part of town. Lockdown restrictions may be easing in some parts of the world, but people may still want to stay away from areas that are really busy, and the new feature will help with that. Seeing live busyness information will make it easier to plan your next move when you’re on vacation, and make it really easy to avoid big crowds.
The expansion of busyness and the tailored map will roll out globally on Android and iOs in the coming months, with richer information coming to 50 new cities by the end of the year.