Google Maps: New Features and Expansions

The company announced that it called on artificial intelligence to help, which made it possible to better search for activities in the place where you are

by Sededin Dedovic
Google Maps: New Features and Expansions
© Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Google Maps is poised to undergo a significant transformation, with an array of enhancements, expansions, and newly harnessed AI capabilities. The company, as part of its efforts to provide a more enriching user experience, has leveraged artificial intelligence to not only augment existing features but also introduce fresh, user-centric functionalities.

Chris Phillips, Vice President and General Manager of Google's Geography division, excitedly shared how AI has revolutionized their mapping efforts. One of the most prominent changes is how users can now explore nearby activities.

Google recognized that users frequently entered generic search phrases like "things to do" in a particular area. Consequently, they've revamped the search results, replacing random listings with more specific, categorized activities grouped by topics.

So, if you're looking for things to do in Tokyo, Google Maps will return tailored results, such as "anime," "cherry blossom," and "art exhibitions," providing users with a more detailed and relevant list of options.

The camera analyzes a vast database of images and provides information on the properties it recognizes

Another significant improvement is related to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

Google Maps is enhancing the information available about these stations, enabling users to determine when a charging station was last used. This added transparency reduces the chances of drivers heading to a station that's currently out of service.

Additionally, users can now check the charging speed and compatibility with their EV model, features designed to make EV journeys smoother. Google Maps is also expanding its "Lens in Maps" feature to an additional 50 cities.

This feature, previously known as "Live View Search," allows users to utilize their phone's camera to scan nearby buildings. The camera analyzes a vast database of images and provides information on the properties it recognizes, including store names and reviews.

This augments navigation by offering real-time, visual information on the surroundings. Furthermore, Google Maps is enhancing its navigation functions by introducing better visualization capabilities, allowing users to virtually traverse planned routes.

In the near future, users in 12 countries will have access to more detailed visual representations of buildings and streets along their routes. For those in the United States, Google Maps is set to provide information about roads with stop lanes, helping users plan their journeys more efficiently.

With these innovations, Google Maps is on the path to becoming an even more indispensable tool for users, offering a seamless and information-rich experience that caters to their diverse needs, from exploration to navigation and sustainable transportation choices.