Google Maps Makes It Easier to Get Around

Go sightseeing, cycling, and hang out with friends

Google Maps is getting a few new features to improve convenience and user safety.

The map app has received its share of new features over the years, with even more changes coming to how you can view landmarks, check cycle routes, and make plans with friends. All three features are bound for iOS and Android devices too, so no matter what you use, you should be able to check them out.

Looking out at Manhattan skyline, Empire State building in view

Grant Faint / Getty Images

First up is the new flyover aerial landmark view that provides what Google calls "photorealistic aerial views" of popular landmarks. The idea is that by seeing the amalgamated street view and satellite images, put together using AI, you'll be better able to decide if you want to visit the location or not. And if you want to take a look, just keep an eye out for an aerial view in a given landmark's Photos section.

Next up is cycling directions, which are getting more details. Route information will now include information on what you're likely to encounter during your ride: stairs, steep hills, and traffic density, in addition to route elevation. Smaller breakdowns of specific parts of your route are also being added, such as indicators of whether a path follows a major road or a smaller local side street.

Finally, there are new location-sharing notifications. These allow you to share your location with friends or family for the sake of improved coordination and safety. In Google's examples, this would mean being able to receive a notification as soon as a group of friends arrives at the concert venue you're meeting at. Or it could be used to notify a loved one of when you leave a location and when you arrive home safely.

Google Maps updated features


Both landmark aerial views and notifications for location sharing for Google Maps on Android and iOS have already begun rolling out globally. There's no specific date given for when the new cycling route features will be available, but Google says it will be launching sometime "in the coming weeks."

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