As the most popular search engine in use today, Google has the leg up on map services. This November, the company released its new desktop version of Google Maps, complete with new features—and there’s plenty to talk about.
Bigger and Bolder
Visually, the new version of Google Maps is more dynamic than ever. While the previous version contained a left sidebar listing locations and information, the new and improved version provides a full-screen map that quickly zooms in on your location.
More Information at Your Fingertips
Google’s new and smarter search box now provides more information at a quick glance. The information box for your destination now gives you info like reviews, ratings and photos, when available.
In comparison to the last version of Maps, which used location pegs, the new Google Maps features results right on the map itself. This makes it even easier to find relevant places near your current location.
The search box can also provide you with helpful information such as recent searches, directions and transit, traffic updates and bicycling info.
It also features flight options as a new feature, allowing you to map flights as part of your trip—it even includes ticket prices and travel times.
The Return of Pegman
Pegman is now a more prominent element in Google Maps. Found on the bottom right corner, he can help you find your destination step-by-step and guide you through street views.
More Photos Than Ever
Perhaps one of the best new features in Google Maps is the improved photo function. The new street view and image options allow you to view landmarks and shops 360 degrees, making you feel like you’re right there at your destination. Need more? Google Maps now has a 3D photo tour option, created with user-submitted photos.
So What Does This All Mean?
Sure, all these new map features are fun to play with—but what exactly do they add up to? For the average consumer, this means you can now do a lot more exploring right in Google Maps. You can find out how long your flight will be, map out your hotel area, find the best local places to eat and even preview local landmarks and hotspots in a virtual tour before you ever leave.
If you’re a business owner, on the other hand, this presents an exciting opportunity to rejuvenate your online presence. The inclusion of photos, reviews, ratings and more means that your visibility on maps can significantly improve, and with so much of our lives spend on the go, map results are an increasingly critical aspect of your overall business success.
So what are you waiting for? Fire up the new Google Maps and see what it can do!