How to make the most of Google Maps

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 10, 2016

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Cape Town - While people usually think of apps like Google Maps as a means to find out where they need to be and how to get there, it can also show you where you’ve been, let you share your images and experiences with users around the globe, show you places of interest on your route, and make sure you get there with minimal traffic.


Your Timelines

Google Maps Your Timelines shows you your location history, provided you have location history switched on on your device. This can tell where you go the most often, provide a log of your business travel, or give you an easy way to remember all the places you visited on your last holiday.

Photos you took at those places will show up in your timeline if you use Google Photos, making it a one-stop holiday reference for when you get home.


Local Guides

If you’d like to share your experiences with the Google user community, you can sign up as a Local Guide. You can post reviews of places you’ve been to (either on the day or when you get home) and add photos so other user can see what to expect.

As a Local Guide you earn points for your activity and advance through levels - at Level 1 you get a Local Guides newsletter and the opportunity to join Local Guides hangouts and workshops. Level 2 gives you early access to Google products and features. Further up the level you get 1TB of Google Drive access and exclusive access to the Local Guides community.


En route

Google Maps En Route function lets you search places of interest on your route while navigation is on. So if you suddenly have an urgent need for a cup of coffee, or have an hour to kill and feel like taking in an art gallery - Maps can help you out. It can also help you plan stop-overs on longer trips. Just type in what you’re looking for in the search bar, and Maps will show you listings plus a map of what you’re hunting for.


Traffic Alerts

Traffic can rapidly put a damper on your day, whether you’re doing your daily commute, travelling to friends or going away for a weekend. With Google’s recently released Traffic Alerts feature, you’ll get a spoken alert for upcoming traffic conditions that helps you identify the quickest route when you enter your destination.

While you’re on the road, Google Maps will warn you if there’s a jam ahead, and how long you can expect to be stuck. It will also give you options of alternate routes and let you know why one route is recommended over another - whether it’s the fastest or just avoids traffic.

Adapted from a press release for IOL

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