February 2, 2015

My Adventurous Day With Pegman And Google Maps

By Justin H.

This is Pegman. You may have bumped into him a time or two in passing. Few take the time to get to know him, which is a shame because he is an awesome travel partner. Also, he is always in the same place! He resides in the bottom right corner of your screen when you open Google Maps.

We met up for lunch a few weeks back, and he opened my eyes to a whole new world of Google Maps. It was a regular day at eGumball, Inc. when Pegman stopped by to pick me up. He is a man often dressed perfectly for the occasion, and for our lunch he decided to keep things very professional with his swanky suit.

Unfortunately, Pegman was not proactive enough to select a lunch venue prior to picking me up. “Don’t worry,” he said, pulling a laptop out of his briefcase. “I can just type ‘restaurants near eGumball Inc.’ into Google Maps and it will do all the work for me.”

Sure enough, his laziness paid off for him. You can type in vague points of interest on Google Maps and it will show you the targeted locations with everything around it. He could have simply just searched for restaurants, but he saved himself a handful of steps by searching one location: eGumball, Inc.

Another thing about Pegman is his disdain for traffic. Luckily he had his laptop on him, so he was able to check for optimal directions. Traffic data is readily accessible on Google Maps. On a computer, all you have to do is click the traffic link on the bottom of the “getting around” tab underneath the search bar. It will color code routes for you so you can adjust the route accordingly.

The next step Pegman took, after selecting a restaurant, was customizing our route to dodge the lunchtime traffic rush. He made the executive decision that we would be going to the vegan restaurant just down the street. He then used another little trick to plot our adventure.

All he did was right click on the destination and a box popped up that allows you to select directions to the restaurant. This can be done at any location, and you can also use it to find out what is in the immediate surrounding area, or what else is nearby.

Pegman decided to take the scenic route, so we could cruise around and catch up on old times, and also dodge traffic that might have accumulated on the freeway. Such a gentleman, that Pegman. He also showed me some of the photos he shared in Google Maps communities that he took from around the world.

In hindsight, this was a ridiculously inefficient route to take, as well as a waste of gas, but who was I to judge? Pegman just wanted to show me the drag and drop feature on Google Maps. All he had to do was click any part of the suggested route, and drag it to his desired roads.

After lunch, Pegman drove us to the local golf course to hit a few balls. When we got there, he surprised me yet again by revealing to me that he could travel through time! “Don’t act like you’re not impressed,” said Pegman. What a wise guy.

At the top left corner of Google Maps, there is a feature that Google has appropriately named Time Travel. At certain locations on Google Street View, you can access old photos of the exact spot you are standing in to see how things have changed over time. The sliding scale under the photo serves as a modern day time machine.

It was a fulfilling afternoon with Pegman, as always. He showed a number of tricks and intricacies of Google Maps that make the user experience much easier, and he is adamant about getting the word out about his services. Pegman is always ready for an adventure. All you have to do is grab him from the bottom right corner of the screen, and drop him anywhere on the map! He will handle the dirty work and guide you through Google Maps like a pro.

What are some other features of Google Maps you have learned? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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