Google Maps celebrates its 15th birthday with a swag-bag of updates

2020-02-07 18:45 - Gabi Zietsman
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Remember the days of pouring over physical maps to plan your route to unknown places?

Neither do I - by the time I and most millenials started driving Google Maps had already been around long enough to get you to your destination without too much hassle.

WATCH: A Bo-Kaap walking tour with Google 

They launched way back in 2005, and at the start of the new decade they are sprucing up their look alongside some new features. 

On your phone you might have noticed the icon change to a sleek new colourful pin-drop.

There's also five new tabs to scrolls through:

  • Explore shows you nearby attractions, restaurants and entertainment options with ratings.
  • Commute helps you get to your destination every day.
  • Saved is where you can build itineraries and share recommendations with other people.
  • Contribute lets you provide local knowledge about roads and places to help other travellers.
  • Updates rounds up trending highlights in destinations as well as lets you chat directly to businesses. 

ALSO SEE: The world doesn't seem to know where Sri Lanka is - and other Google travel searches of 2019 

Google Maps will be adding lots of little extra information, like crowdedness on public transport and accessibility for special needs travellers. 

They will also be expanding Live View - by combining Street View’s real-world imagery, machine learning and smartphone sensors, Live View in Google Maps shows you your surroundings with the directions overlaid in augmented reality. 

Time to start exploring even more with these cool new features!

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