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Simple tips and tricks for Google Maps that everyone should know



We know you’re aware of Google Maps (you’re on Mashable afterall). A free navigation tool available online and as an iOS and Android app, the service offers turn-by-turn directions, cycling and directions to anywhere in the world, as well as information on public transport. Google Maps is very easy to use if you want to quickly and easily generate a route map, but there is also more to it: Under the hood it offers quite advanced functionality.

We take a look at some tips and tricks for Google Maps you may not know …

Add stops on a navigation route

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

The default setting for Google Maps navigation functionality involves a starting point and your destination, but that is possible to add in multiple stops. This not only gives you a smoother navigation experience, but also gives you a better idea of ​​how long the total journey will take. To add a stop on your next trip, enter the starting point and final destination as normal, then tap the three dots at the top right of the screen. This will display an options menu that includes the option to “Add stop.” You can add more stops.

Change the Google Maps car icon

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

It is possible in Google Maps to change the icon that shows your location. By default, this is a blue arrow, but if you are in driving navigation mode, you can make it a more fun vehicle icon. Touch the icon that shows your current position. You will see three options you can change the default icon to: a car, a pick-up truck or an SUV.

Save the location of the parked car


Credit: screengrab: google maps

You can save your parking space so you remember where you left the car. Just tap the icon that shows your location. Android users then have to tap “Save your parking”, while for iOS it’s “Set as parking”. Your parking location will be stored in Google Maps until you remove it.

Share your current position with others

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

Google Maps lets you share your current location with people during specific time periods. If you share your location with a contact, they will have the ability to see your location icon move in real time. To share your location, tap your profile icon at the top of the screen and select “Position sharing”. You now have options about who you want to share your position with and for how long.

Download a map for offline use

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

If you are heading to a place where cell phone coverage may become uneven, it is a good idea to download your route plan for offline use. To do this, configure the navigation as you normally would, then tap the three-dot menu at the top of the screen. Select “Download map without web”. If you have coverage issues, the map for the site you have selected will be available to you offline.

See your Google Maps history

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

If you want to take a trip down the memory trail, it’s possible to see your entire Google Maps history as a timeline. Go to the Google Maps timeline site to see a map of all the places you’ve ever been.

Create a favorite location in Google Maps

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

It is possible in Google Maps to create very useful lists. For example, these may be your favorite places. To generate such a list, tap on the location you want to save and tap “Save”. Now you have the opportunity to create a “New List” and give it a name. Add multiple locations to the same list using the same method.

Add labels in places

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

Google Maps allows you to add custom place labels, which you can then navigate to by entering the name of the label in the navigation bar. This is very useful functionality for storing specific locations. Search for a place or long press on the phone screen in the place you want to save to generate a position pin. Now look for the options at the bottom of the screen and swipe to see the “Label” option.

Have fun with a Google Maps Easter egg

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Credit: screengrab: google maps

Our latest trick is a fun Easter egg that works on the desktop version of Google Maps. If you go to area 51 in Nevada and drag the Google Maps little pegman icon on the screen, he becomes a flying saucer!




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