Google Maps rolling out new updates to make travelers’ life easier


Google Maps rolling out new updates to make travelers’ life easier

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Let’s face it – planning a vacation can be a real challenge. Where do you even start? What should you see? Where are the best places to grab a bite? It’s enough to make you want to stay home. Well, Google Maps just stepped in with a big helping hand, and their recent updates should come in really handy next time you want to plan to travel. Let me break it down for you.

It’s all about the lists and recommendations

You know that feeling when you’re staring at a map, totally overwhelmed because you don’t know exactly what to search for? Google Maps is now tackling that same issue. Now, when you search for a city, Maps will come back with several curated lists full of recommendations from locals and big-name travel sites like Lonely Planet and The Infatuation. Google Maps is even going a step further by showing you lists that you didn’t even know you needed. These are based on ratings and recommendations from other Maps users and will be available across more than 40 cities in the U.S. and Canada this week.  The lists are as follows:

  • The Trending List: The places everyone’s buzzing about, updated weekly. Perfect for catching the wave of what’s hot.
  • The Top List: Tried and true favorites that always hit the spot.
  • The Gems List: Local secrets and hidden treasures begging to be discovered. Think cozy cafés or under-the-radar eats.

However, if you are more of the do-it-yourself type, you will also be able to create your own customized list and share it with those traveling with you. Tap on “New List” and proceed to add all the spots you want as you look through the map. You’ll be able to add your personalized notes, re-arrange the list to your linking, and even link to content from your social media accounts. These updates to customized lists will begin to roll out everywhere on Android and iOS later this month.

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AI to the rescue: Understanding a place at a glance

And because no update is complete without some AI improvements, Google Maps is now using AI to pull through the key things you need to know about a place you plan to visit. Photos, reviews, the general vibe – it’ll highlight what makes a restaurant, park, or bar worth checking out. As a bonus, it even picks out dish names from the place’s posted food photos and tells you if they’re popular with the crowd.

Sometime this summer, Maps will start to get some new design tweaks to give the app a new look. According to Google, the new design will include a cleaner home screen, fewer tabs, and new pin colors to easily identify places you’ve pinned in the past. Google Maps isn’t just about directions anymore, as it has slowly evolved into an essential travel and planning tool.

All images credit: Google

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