Are you making the best use of Google maps?

Google Maps is one of the most downloaded applications and likely one you fire up on a regular basis. But familiarity does not guarantee efficiency and there are probably a host of insider tricks you could use to improve your Google Maps user experience. We have picked out five suggestions.

Gathering traffic data

On the desktop version of Google Maps you can select “Traffic’ on the ‘Getting around’ card (top left), then ‘typical traffic’, before choosing a day of the week and getting a snapshot of traffic at a specific time. You can use the information to plan a journey, or to compile traffic data for clients interested in the neighbourhood.

Voice Commands

Fiddling with your phone while driving is now a huge no-no, so it’s vital to master any available hands-free features. Before you set off on your trip navigate to Google Maps on a Chrome web browser, click on the microphone icon to the right of the Google search bar, then wait for the ‘Speak now’ alert. Once it’s ready speak slowly and clearly. You can request turn-by-turn navigation to a location, or for a list of directions or a map.

Measure distances

If you right-click on a Google map you can select ‘Measure distance’. A white dot will appear on the map, you can then click elsewhere on the map and Google maps will calculate the distance between the two points. This is a useful feature both for trip-planning and for clients wanting to know the distance from a property to a location eg work.

Offline viewing

You won’t always have access to wireless internet and sometimes your access will be super slow. If you’re a person who likes to plan ahead then searching out a map you know you’ll need and saving it for viewing offline is very simple. Look up your destination as you normally would, then type ‘OK Maps’ into the search bar. This will give you the option to save for offline viewing.

Drag and drop to change directions

When working on the desktop version you can make swift changes in your directions. Just click any part of your direction route, and drag it to where you want. You can use this method to avoid specific locations or to ensure your route passes a certain way.

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Are you making the best use of Google maps?