Google Maps 9 best features

Google maps is one of the most popular application made by Google which is used worldwide as a primary navigation tool. Google maps’ database is soo large that in 2019, Google declared that it now covers about 98 percent of the places in the world where people live and around 10 million miles of street view images. This makes Google maps far superior from its competitors like Apple Maps.

Having mapped 98% of the inhabited places on earth alone does not make Google Maps superior over its competitors. Its the presence of great and handy features that makes it the king of maps along with its ease of use.

Here are the Ordinary Techie’s list of interesting features in Google Maps which you should know.

1. Find the exact spot where you parked your vehicle.

Google may not be the first to introduce this feature but Google sure does it right. Next time you go out with your vehicle and park it somewhere, maybe like an Airport or bus terminus, open your Google Maps and save your vehicles’ parked location before leaving your vehicle.

  • Turn on location/GPS.
  • Open Google Maps on your Smartphone.
  • Tap the Locate icon to zoom in or refresh your current location.
  • Now, tap that blue icon that is used to show your position.
Google maps menu
Google Maps parking save option menu
  • This will open a blue screen where you can set the current location as your parking spot.
  • Now, to open the parking spot, tap on “Search here”.
  • The top bar should have your Saved Parking Location on it. Tap it to start Direction Navigation.

2. Keep a log of all places that you visited – Timeline

For people who love traveling and are interested in keeping a Digital Diary, Google Maps Timeline feature is really handy and interesting. Google automatically stores all the locations you’ve navigated or been to and neatly displays it to you as a Timeline.

  • Open Google Maps and tap on the stacked hamburger like button on the top left of the screen.
  • A bar of menu opens from the side. Tap on the Timeline option on the menu.
Google maps Timeline
  • This will open a blue screen asking you permission to Turn On the Explore your Timeline feature.
Google maps "Timeline" feature
Google Maps timeline
Image credit : Android central.com

Now you can keep a log of your history timeline. Interesting and fun feature indeed!

3. Find out average wait times at Restaurants.

As interesting as this sounds, Google Maps actually shows you live data on how long your wait time at a restaurant is going to be at various times of a day. These aggregate data should help you get a rough idea of which time a restaurant is likely to be the busiest. You can use this data to get a Heads-up before moving out.

  • Open Google Maps and search for the restaurant you wish to go.
Google maps "restaurant" check menu
  • Tap on the Restaurant to open an info menu that slides open from the bottom.
  • Scroll down to the blue-purple bar that shows you the wait time.
Google maps "Average wait times"

This should help and this is quite a handy feature from Google.

4. Set routes with multiple destinations in between

Google clearly knows that a person seldom moves straight from the starting point to the destination. Google knows we usually need to make stops like petrol bunk or bathroom breaks or eateries in between the route. Hence, Google Map put forth the Multiple Destination feature where you can set multiple stops in between your travel.

  • Open Google Maps and use the search bar to find the spot you want to navigate to.
  • Tap on the three dots on the top left right beside the “your location”.
Google maps "options" menu icon
  • Now a menu opens from the three dots. Tap on the “Add Stop” option and you’re good to go.
Google Maps "Add Stop" menu
Google maps multi spot menu

This should help you take Stops In-between your travel and help you pre-plan on your trips.

5. Complete hands-free control over Google Maps

We know the risks of using Maps right while driving or riding a vehicle and it can get annoying when you need to constantly stop to take a look at your map and understand the positioning. To make things easier, Google Maps now comes integrated with your Google Assistant. Now, you can use voice commands to activate Google Maps and ask for Voice Guidance so that you don’t have to make stops or risk using the phone while moving.

Just say either “Hey Google” or “Okay Google” to activate your Google Assistant and try the following commands to talk to it and get voice feedbacks from your Assistant.

  • “What’s my ETA?” – say this to find out how much more time it should take to reach your destination.
  • “How’s traffic in my route?” – say this to find out about traffic delays in your route.
  • “What road is this” – say this to find out what road you’re if you feel confused while navigating.
  • “Take me Home” – say this to automatically find route and voice navigate you to your home.
  • “Avoid tolls” – say this to reroute via non-toll roads.
  • “Reroute to nearest petrol bunk” – say this or any variation of petrol bunk, for example – restaurants or malls to reroute your navigation setup.
  • “Exit navigation” – say this to quite Navigation and stop your Google assistant from voice messaging you.

6. Sharing Live Location that moves along with you

One of the handiest features that help you position people from you and help them navigate to your current position. This feature shows the Real-time position of you or the person sharing their Live-location with you and constantly updates along with the movements of the person. Interesting feature indeed that is very useful in lots of situations and scenarios.

  • Open Google Maps and tap on the “locate” icon to refresh your accurate position.
  • Now, tap on the blue icon that denotes you and your position just like how you did with setting a “parking spot”.
  • Tap on the “Share your location” option.
Google Maps "Share your location" feature.
  • This will open a menu asking you ways to share your Live-location.
  • You can also set the time and duration for which the Real-time location will be shared/updated.
Google maps live sharing Time setup menu

This is as simple as it can get and as handy as possible. This feature had issues with updating accurate location in previous versions of Google Maps, but now, Google has polished this feature to work like a charm now.

7. Book Ola/Uber using Google maps and also compare prices

This is a very handy feature that lets you not only see routes and distance between you and your destination but also book cabs or autos for the said route and also compare prices to help you decide which service offers the lowest price to make that commute.

  • Open Google Maps and search for the location to commute like usual.
  • Tap on the “Directions” menu in the bottom left.
Google maps direction button
  • Tap on the icon as shown in the pic below and scroll to the bottom to see options for Ola and Uber commute options.
Google Maps icon to check
Ola price check menu

Neat and handy feature. Google Maps truly does make a lot of things easy and close to hand.

8. Measure the distance between any points that you set on the map.

This is a handy feature that could greatly help in measuring short distances by plotting the points and set a direction to move. This feature can come handy when you want to measure the distance that you go for jogging by plotting the same route on Google Maps to measure distance.

  • Open Google Maps and zoom-in to the utmost maximum on the map.
  • Touch and hold the starting point that you want to measure.
  • This will mark that place with a red market and an info menu pops in the bottom. Tap it in android devices or swipe it up for iOS devices.
Google maps Menu
  • Now, tap on “Measure Distance“.
  • This should open the map with a movable marker. Move the marker and place it at points that you desire to plot dotted blue lines.
Measure distance option
  • Tap on the “Plus Icon” to save this point and move the cursor again to mark a new point.
Google maps "Plus Icon"

This is a handy feature to determine the distance between two points.

9. See real-time train and bus departure time

With newer updates on Google Maps, one can now easily see real-time train and bus timing. Google also calculates Estimated time for commute based on arrival and departure times of these modes of transport as well.

  • Open Google maps and turn on location/GPS.
  • Search for the destination on the “Search Menu”.
  • Tap on the “Directions” button and tap the icon showed below.
Google Maps menu icon
  • Scroll down to see bus and train timings with their arrival and departure time as well.

This comes out to be another handy feature that does not require you to install separate 3rd party apps to see bus/train arrival times.

These were the list of interesting features which you must definitely try on Google Maps.

Comment down below which was your favorite feature in Google Maps. If you think I missed out on any other feature that you think should have made it in this list, comment it down below as well. I would love to see your opinion.

Cheers!!

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By Jayesh

Hi there!! I'm Jayesh, a Super tech enthusiast who spends a lot of his time obsessing over gadgets, watching reviews, and hands-on experience from various people on the internet( Tech YouTubers generally) as I'm not lucky enough (yet) to own it all for myself. I'm sharing my tech knowledge coming from my obsession over youtube tech reviewers to help friends and family decide on a product.

12 thoughts on “9 Interesting Features in Google Maps that you must try”
  1. Very useful. Clearly explained the features of google map. Thank u.

    1. I didn’t quite understand your question.
      Google Maps Navigation used to be a separate app but now it has been integrated into Google maps itself. When you set your destination and hit start, Google navigation seamlessly opens and helps you navigate. You can turn on and off voice guiding, change routes, and few other similar options as seen in Google maps itself. There is not much to it.

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