Google Maps

What is Google Maps?

Google Maps is a web-mapping service provided by Google. It provides aerial satellite imagery, traffic routes and conditions, navigation, route planning for users traveling on foot, airplanes, public transport, and cars. 

Google Maps also has a 360° interactive panoramic street view and audio navigation. Google Maps was co-founded by computer scientists Lars Rasmussen, Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen. 


Did you know that over 1 billion people regularly use Google Maps? Google Maps has this many users because it’s a reliable, well-rounded navigation system. It does away with the need to consult multiple platforms for different aspects of your travel.

It allows you to navigate where you’re going, figure out the best way to get there, and estimate when you’ll arrive. 

Let’s look at some of the highlighting features!

1. Multilingual 

Google Maps has a multilingual audio and text display, making it easy to use.

2. Traffic Data

Google Maps allows you to see traffic conditions on your route. During navigation, the map lays out a selection of the fastest routes to your destination. 

3. Route Planning

Google Maps gives you directions and helps you to plan your route and transit to your destination. Whether you’re walking, driving, or flying there, Google Maps will likely have directions for you. It also has a feature that lets you add multiple stops on your route to your final destination. 

4. Street View

Google Maps offers a 360° street-view of countless locations. In addition, Google street view blurs out license plates and faces to protect your privacy. 


5. Indoor Navigation

Google Maps has indoor navigation for large public buildings such as airports, malls, and tourist attractions. 


6. Custom Maps

Google Maps launched a feature called “My Maps” that allows users to customize their own maps, add notes and images. 


7. Earth Timelapse

This is a new feature that was released in April 2021. Timelapse lets you see the evolution of the earth over the past four decades. 


8. Augmented Reality

A new Google Maps feature lets you navigate through a Visual Positioning System (VPS). This places you within your current location and enables you to navigate your way visually. 


9. Saves Parking

A lesser-known Google Maps feature is its ability to let you save the location of your parking spot. If you’re forgetful and are parking in a crowded area, this comes in handy!


10. “Your Match”

If you’re a regular Google Maps user and have “Saved” or added to “Favourites” the restaurants and cafes in your area, every time you look up a restaurant, Maps’s algorithm will tell you if it matches your preferences and if you’ll like it.


So, Are There Any Cons? 

Like any software or app, Google Maps is not fool-proof and has its flaws. 


1. Its data is not 100% precise every time. Since Google Maps collects rough estimates, its traffic data, route timings, and directions are also rough estimations. 


2. Google Maps doesn’t give you alerts along the way if there is construction happening or if the road is blocked by something. There have also been cases where criminals captured images of graphic crime scenes and disturbing images and uploaded them to the street view. 


3. Users have often taken issue with Google Maps’ Streetview feature since it can allow burglars and thieves to ‘case’ possible houses to hit. Previously, users had problems with the Streetview feature showing users house numbers, doors, and license plates. This particular issue was fixed by Google Maps blurring faces and plates in the street view. 

Key Takeaway

Google Maps is an excellent free tool that will make your life significantly easier and your commute super convenient. Google Maps uses GPS and VPS to help you navigate your way through new places, save your locations, customize your maps, save your parking, view streets panoramically and aerially, and plan your commute according to traffic conditions in your area.