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Google Maps

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  • Vendor: Google Inc.
  • Version: Varies with device
  • Price: Free

Those of us of a certain age remember a time before Google Maps. A time before the maps that came before Google Maps. A time when we unfolded large pieces of paper in a car while driving at high speed — or, worse, as a tourist in a faraway land — gazed at the mysterious symbols and hoped we knew which way we were pointed in the first place.

Those were the dark ages.

In February 2005 Google launched Google Maps. And today it's an integral part of our daily lives, to say nothing of the Google experience. At its simplest, it's a way to figure out where you are, or where you're going. But it's grown into so much more than that. Google Maps now ties into your search results. Looking for, say, Chinese food? You'll see recommendations. Or, even better, is that you might see your friends' recommendations, thanks to integration with Google+.

And what Google did from the top down with satellites it's also done from the driver's seat. Google has a fleet of cars worldwide that maps the roads and highways, ensuring accuracy and — and this is the really cool part — taking 360-degree "Street view" pictures, so you can actually see where you're going and what it will look like before you get there.

Google Maps made the transition from web browser to mobile, of course, and it's now an indispensable part of our online lives.

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How to use public transit directions in Google Maps

Google Maps is an amazing resource for finding public transit information. In addition to driving directions, Google Maps offers a wealth of options if you rely on public transit for your daily commute. The service gives you a list of the various forms of public transportation for your journey,...

Google is doing a great job showing everyone why slow app rollouts suck

You probably have no location sharing tools from Google right now. Unless you've received the most recent Google Maps update, with all of the fun new integrated location sharing features baked right in, you're kind of screwed right now. Instead of waiting until the Maps update was totally pushed...

Location sharing is finally coming back to Google Maps

You will once again be able to share your location without using Google+. A long time ago, we used to be able to share location data with friends through this app called Google Latitude. When Latitude and other apps were folded into Google Maps, the location sharing feature was migrated over to...
How to use indoor maps in Google Maps

How to use indoor maps in Google Maps

Easily navigate malls and department stores with indoor maps. One of the more useful additions to Google Maps is the ability to navigate within malls, museums, libraries, or sports venues. The feature is accessible in 25 countries, and Google maintains a list of prominent locations for which...
How to create and share lists in Google Maps

How to create and share lists in Google Maps

Google Maps lets you easily create and share lists of your favorite places. The ability to create lists is the newest feature addition to Google Maps, and it continues the platform's evolution from being just a navigation service to an all-in-one travel utility. Maps now shows nearby points of...
How to book an Uber using Google Maps

How to book an Uber using Google Maps

You can now book an Uber without ever leaving Google Maps. Previous versions of Google Maps showed tariff estimates and wait times for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, but an update rolled out earlier this year made it easier to book a ride without ever leaving Google Maps. With the...
Google Maps add multiple destinations

How to add multiple destinations in Google Maps

Easily add multiple stops to your Google Maps route. One of the best additions to Google Maps is the ability to add multiple stops to your route. If you're running an errand or picking up groceries on your way back home, the feature gives you a quick look at the overall time for the trip and any...

Google Maps now lets you create lists of your favorite places

Easily create lists on Google Maps and share them with friends and family. Google Maps is introducing a new feature that lets you create lists of your places and share them with your friends and family via text message, email, or social media. You'll be able to view and edit your lists even when...

Google Maps for Android just got a whole lot better for commuters

Google Maps makes it easier to check traffic and transit times. Google Maps for Android is getting a visual refresh in an update rolling out now, with a new tabbed interface that makes it easier to check on nearby places, traffic conditions, and transit times nearby. As with many Android apps...

Google Maps now factors in parking time for your trip

The perpetually late can easily see how long they'll be circling around the block for a spot. Be honest: when you're factoring how long it takes somewhere, you sometimes forget that parking your car is actually a part of the equation. This is especially an issue if you live in a giant metropolitan...

Now you can easily hail a ride from Uber or Lyft inside Google Maps

Why did it take so long for this kind of functionality to come to Google Maps? Google has announced that you can now hail a ride from your preferred ride-sharing service directly through the Maps app. Tap on the icon of the guy hailing a ride and Maps will offer you a complete list of ride...

Google Maps now tells you when places are busy in real time

Manage your time better with the new Google Maps update. Google Maps has received a small update today focusing on improving time rationing at busy stores around the holiday (and beyond). In an update to Google Maps for Android and iOS, the service now tells you not only the general times when...

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