January 20, 2016

4 Google Maps Features to Use in 2016

Photo courtesy of Review Trackers.
By Nick K. 

Last year, we talked about some awesome features in Google Maps that you simply can’t live without. Today, the Tek Team adds to their Google Maps tips with the latest features of Google Maps. There are still plenty of great tricks for you to try out!

For those who are still in search of a New Year’s Resolution, why not make 2016 memorable by being more efficient with your travels with these four Google Maps features?

Analyze the Busiest Times for Locations
Are you tired of always arriving at the local hotspot in town when the line is out the door with customers? Thankfully, Google Maps has created a solution to this problem by displaying popular times for popular certain, like restaurants, shops, and bars.

To access the popular “times” tab, open Google Maps and type in your destination in the search box. When the business information is displayed on the left side of your screen, scroll below to find a blue bar graph that shows the business’ busiest hours, given the current day and time you are conducting your search. 

Check out the Popular Times section at the bottom of the photo! 

You also have the ability to change the day of the week in case you need to make dinner plans or stop at the grocery store in the next few days. Overall, it is a very simple and effective tool to use and will save you plenty of time that could have been wasted standing in line.

Find the Bathroom
Finally! Google Maps provides users with one of the most practical features, displaying public bathrooms. Google has been spending the last several years trying to expand their indoor mapping services, which finally had undergone a fantastic breakthrough. Ain’t nobody got time to look for a bathroom in an unfamiliar area, especially while traveling and when you gotta go. If you are located in a popular location, like a mall, casino, convention center, shopping center, or department stores, then you can easily access the bathrooms’ location using your smartphone or tablet. 

Bathroom locations for people who really gotta go!

To access this feature, pull up Google Maps on your mobile device and zoom all the way in to your current area with your location services turned on, and voilĂ ! The bathrooms will be displayed. It really is that easy!  

Join the Local Guide Community
Although this feature might not be directly related to seeing physical changes to Google Maps, the Local Guide Community is vital to ensure Google Maps reviews stays accurate. The Tek Team has a fantastic article previously written that covers how Google Local Guides work.

Local Guides is a program similar to Yelp, as it includes business information like locations, reviews, photos of user experiences, phone numbers, hours of operation, and an option for users to make edits to current businesses already listed.
The best part about Local Guides is that users gain rewards for their contributions by earning special perks and rewards, including various Google gear and tech goodies.

Beat the Herds of Traffic
Since Google Maps has the ability to estimate and predict how busy locations can be, it should be no surprise that Google Maps can also predict traffic patterns. We all knew that Google Maps provides a feature to display live traffic conditions, but now there is an option to check common traffic patterns given the time of day and location. 

Looks like taking surface streets is the smart option.

To access this tool, open Google Maps and click on the three bars in the top left corner and select “Traffic”. Then at the bottom of your screen there are a couple of ivory bars, one of which says “Live traffic.” When you click on it, there will be two options: “Live traffic” and “Typical traffic”. 

Go ahead and click on Typical traffic and watch the streets of Google Maps light up with red, green, and orange highlights, each color indicating the flow of traffic. Google Maps also gives you the option to adjust the date and time of common traffic patterns, providing some foresight into your later commutes.

There we have it, we have successfully navigated through four features you should try out with Google Maps. Hopefully, you have learned about some awesome new features to enhance your Google Maps experience and you are able to accomplish your New Year’s resolution of using these features throughout this year! Have fun becoming a Google Maps aficionado!

Have you tried any of these Google Map features before? Are there other Google Maps features that you prefer instead? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below! 

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