WATCH: Get more from Google Maps during your travels with these five updates

2018-09-13 15:02
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(Photo: iStock)

Long gone are the days when a map and word of mouth were needed in order to find the best places to explore, when travelling or when in a new location. That has all changed thanks to the advent of modern technologies and mobile smart devices.

Tech behemoth Google has arguably been the torchbearer for this revolution in the way we travel and engage and plan with and for our trips. Thanks to its Search function, especially combined with Maps, it has never been easier to find out where the best places to eat, best attractions and more are with Google Maps.

Now, Google Maps is moving from a purely navigational tool to a lifestyle essential. In order for an app to be truly user-friendly, it has to be intuitive, anticipating what the user may need at any given time in their user-journey. Google Maps does just that by thinking ahead and providing features that every user will soon find they cannot do without.

In its latest update, Google Maps has seamlessly integrated navigation with place rankings and reviews, and even events. With new features including trending places, an Explore tab with lists of places to visit and a match function which shows you how closely a venue matches your preferences - it’s easier than ever to just travel and have great experience.

PICS: If country names were literal - this is what world maps would look like

Here are some highlights of what the updated app lets you do:

1. Discover personalised location recommendations

Under the new EXPLORE section of the app, you can now get suggestions and highlights of new restaurants, bars, services and shopping around any location in the world.

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(Image: Google, Supplied)

2. Indulge your inner foodie

The FOODIE LIST aggregates reviews and ratings from other food lovers to give you a list of the top offerings in any given area. Once you click on a place, you then have all the information you need: an overview, rating, contact information, reviews, photos and, of course, directions on how to get there. You can also keep up with other foodies by checking off which places on the list you have visited.

You can also find food delivery options. If you don’t have enough time to go out and explore different restaurant options, Google Maps will let you know if there are any restaurants that deliver in your area, complete with contact details.

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(Image: Google, Supplied)

SEE: Google Maps rolls out Lists to let you plan your entire trip in-app

4. Fill your social calendar

Discover top events and activities taking place nearby and see photos, descriptions and even filter these by categories depending on what you like. Are you an outdoorsy person or someone looking for kid-friendly activities? Just toggle the app filters and find something that’s suitable.

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(Image: Google, Supplied)

5. Get personalised recommendations

In the app’s settings menu, fill in details about what kind of food and drinks you do and don’t like so that Maps can recommend options that are literally suited to you. 

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(Image: Google, Supplied)

SEE: How crowded is your favourite spot? Google Maps can now tell you in real time

6. Help others discover your favourite places

These helpful reviews, ratings and photos on Google Maps are submitted by ordinary people who just happen to be passionate about food, travel, adventure and lifestyle. If you find a place that you feel strongly about, you can contribute your experience and help millions of people find that place by simply connecting yourself to Google’s global community of explorers via “Your Contributions” in the settings menu or by visiting Local Guides to get started.

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(Image: Google, Supplied)

SEE: 4 Google Maps functions you're missing out on

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