Saturday, June 22, 2024

Nine Google Maps features that can be of great help while traveling in Spain

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Google Maps has become a very useful, almost essential tool, in our daily lives for getting around the world. Beyond helping us locate addresses in a city, the best road routes, or how to get to a destination using public transportation, the app offers other functions that you may not be aware of.

Among the numerous possibilities, we have selected nine truly simple features. All of them are available on both the tablet and the mobile phone. Knowing them before traveling opens the door to anticipating when making decisions and enjoying a more pleasant trip. Take note.

1. Create lists and interact with third parties

Lists are a great travel planning tool. When searching for points of interest in your next destination, such as hotels, restaurants, museums, shops, or other attractions, create a list with all of them and share it with friends or other people who can provide feedback on your choices. Google Maps allows them to react with an emoji, add comments, or give tips. The app enables you to organize your selections, turning them into your personalized itinerary, and you can use thematic icons to differentiate them.

2. Check photos before making decisions


Knowing in advance where you plan to go is useful

We’re not telling you anything new if we say that Google Maps listings include photographs. However, the truth is that, on occasion, these images can be very useful when trying to get a more accurate idea of the interior of a place, revealing important details. For example, whether a café has sufficient light, or if it is suitable for working comfortably with a personal computer if needed.

3. Live an anticipated experience

Are you familiar with Google Maps’ Immersive View feature? It allows you to explore over five hundred locations around the world – such as the Sagrada Família in Barcelona – using thousands of 360º panoramic photographs. This enables you to virtually move through roads and streets as if you were there in person, giving you the opportunity to comfortably explore the site from your device and become familiar with it in advance. These locations are marked with the title “Immersive View” in the search results. Additionally, you can adjust the setting to different times of the day or weather conditions, providing different perspectives of the same place.

'Immersive View' está disponible en lugares emblemáticos

‘Immersive View’ is available at iconic locations

4. Walk without the need to look at the screen (or do it in 3D)

As you may already know, Google Maps is not only useful when driving, but also when walking or cycling. When walking in the city, after selecting your destination, it is very convenient to use headphones to listen to the directions, so you won’t have to keep your eyes on your smartphone screen.

The mobile camera recognizes images from our surroundings and detects location, making the directions more accurate

If you prefer to follow the route while looking at your phone, you can do it in 2D (the typical blue arrow that indicates the way) or through 3D, with Live View, a more precise and visual way that is not available for use in cars. The mobile phone camera recognizes images of our surroundings and detects the location, making the route directions much more accurate. Especially useful is the recently launched option that allows you to see the navigation on the lock screen, avoiding the need to continuously unlock the device.

5. Share your real-time location

If you are traveling alone, keep your real-time location enabled. It is a great tool to know where you are at all times, especially if you experience any delays. It’s easy: go to your account icon and select the option to choose who and what you want to share later. This feature is also practical as it allows you to access interesting details you may have discovered during the journey afterwards.

6. Discovering what surrounds you with ‘Lens’

In addition to Augmented Reality Live View, Google Maps has another very useful feature: Lens. The small camera icon located in the search bar opens the door to discovering what’s around you, whether it’s restaurants, public transportation, or iconic landmarks. Although it’s not available in all locations, it’s being implemented in more cities every day. In the meantime, you can continue to use the options available below the search bar, which include the most popular choices.

7. Download a map and consult it offline

Google Maps permite consultar mapas sin conexión

Google Maps allows you to view maps offline

If you don’t want to consume mobile data or if you think the place you will be visiting doesn’t have good internet service, you can activate the Offline Maps feature through the circular icon in your account, located in the upper right corner of the screen. Choose the areas you prefer; they will be available for you to access at any time without having to worry about anything.

8 What is open now?

It’s ideal for specific moments. Are you looking for a parking spot nearby that’s open late at night? Or perhaps a restaurant or a store? Just below the search bar, you will see different options. When you select one of them, you can check, among other things, which of the closest services are open, thanks to the “Open Now” feature.

9. Use overlay: your map tells you much more

Google Maps offers a layered visualization. By activating the square-shaped icon at the top right of your mobile device, a window will pop up with different map options: default, satellite, and terrain, as well as various map details. These include public transportation, traffic, biking routes, wildfires, and air quality. Overlaying, for instance, the public transportation layer, can be extremely helpful when deciding on the most suitable way to reach your desired destination.

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