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Category: Travel & Local

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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Google Maps

Indian government calls Google Maps unreliable, wants citizens to use its own mapping solution instead

The Indian government launches its latest salvo in a long-running fight with Google over mapping data. The Indian government doesn't have a high opinion of Google Maps, and it conveyed that sentiment today by saying that the service is "not authenticated" and calling into question its reliability...

Google's new Local Guides points system makes leaving reviews worth your time

Whether you're a traveler or a homebody, the Google-led app rewards handsomely for leaving recommendations. Google Local Guides were introduced in 2014 to help foster a giant community of local reviewers who just know where all the best stuff is. When you sign up to be a Local Guide, every...

Google makes it easier for Indian users to get started with Maps

Google is making it easier for Indian customers to get started with Maps. Google Maps users in India are getting a new home screen that will make it easier for them to get started with the service. The home screen will include a quick action bar at the bottom of the page that pulls up a direction...
Google Maps: The Ultimate Guide

Google Maps: Ultimate Guide

Make the most out of Google Maps. Google Maps is a powerful tool that's used by over 1 billion people, and over the years the app has become more efficient at suggesting routes, offering detailed options for public transit, nearby points of interest, and so much more. Google serves up...
Google Maps now automatically translates reviews

Google Maps now automatically translates reviews to your language

Now you're speaking my language! Google Maps is a fantastic tool to have when traveling in a foreign country, and now it's even better as Google is automatically translating place reviews to the language you have set on your device. While you could of course always copy a review written in the...
How to get driving directions in Google Maps

How to get driving directions in Google Maps

Google Maps lets you easily navigate with turn-by-turn directions for various forms of transportation. Google Maps has a wealth of options for driving, walking, public transit, and cycling. The desktop version of Maps also includes flight information, but that option isn't available on mobile....

Google Maps location sharing is an amazing feature you should consider using

Location services are the handiest smartphone feature to have on in the case of an emergency. Last weekend, my mother totaled her car of 18 years. She's fine, though she came out with a few scratches because of how tightly the seat belt had buckled her in during the impact. And though we're still...
How to share your location in Google Maps

How to share your location in Google Maps

Google Maps lets you easily share your location with friends and family. Google uncoupled location sharing from Google+ and brought it back to Maps last month. There were a few missteps along the way as the company phased out the service in Google+ before reintegrating it into Maps, but as of...
How to save your home and work addresses in Google Maps

How to save your home and work addresses in Google Maps

Save your home and work addresses to get directions faster. Google Maps makes it easy for you to save frequently visited addresses such as your home or work locations, allowing you to get directions quickly without having to enter them manually every single time. Doing so also allows you to use...
Google Maps

How to view your location history in Google Maps

See where you've traveled with Google Maps. Google Maps has a nifty Timeline feature that lets you browse the places you've visited along with the routes traveled. The feature was overhauled in 2015, and Google has added the ability to collate images you've taken at a particular location,...
How to use Google Maps offline

How to use Google Maps offline

Download maps so you can access them even when you're offline. Google Maps has an offline mode that lets you download maps and get directions even when you're not connected to the internet. If you're traveling abroad or heading to a location with limited internet connectivity, a good option is...

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,...

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