Google is all set to roll out several new updates to Maps over the next few months, but it detailed a bunch of those upcoming features today at its Search On event. According to Google, all these new features are a part of its effort to make Maps more immersive to use. We already got a taste of this new “visual-first” Maps experience at Google IO, but there are a bunch of new features to check out.
The Immersive View feature was first announced earlier this year at Google IO in May. It’ll essentially help you plan your visit to a particular city by giving you a better understanding of that place. The Immersive View feature leverages a combination of both computer vision and AI to bring Street View and ariel imagery together. It’ll be served with weather, traffic, and other information to give you a better understanding of what the place will be like on a given day and time.
Immersive View is launching in Los Angeles, London, New York City, San Francisco, and Tokyo in the coming months, with more cities to be added in the future. So if you’re planning a visit to New York City and want to know what a particular location within the city looks like on a given day, then you can use the Immersive View feature on Google Maps to get a feel for the weather, find out how the busy the nearby streets and restaurants are, and more. This feature will be available on both Android and iOS, so everybody gets to experience the new features.
Search with Live View
Google is also bringing search functionality to Live View, a feature that overlays right on top of your camera’s viewfinder. The new Search with Live View will let you use your smartphone camera to find various points of interest such as shops, restaurants, ATMs, and more. This is also a part of Google’s effort to build a visual-first, immersive Maps experience. Search with Live View is rolling out in London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo in the coming months.
Neighborhood vibe is also a new feature that’ll help people understand and find out what’s interesting in a neighborhood. It’ll help users identify this by highlighting popular and trending places and by also showing other relevant information like photos and reviews. Unlike the other new features, Neighborhood vibe is launching globally on both Android and iOS in the coming months.
Lastly, Google also announced that it’ll soon allow developers to enable eco-friendly routing in their apps. This is an extension of the eco-friendly feature that’s already available in Google Maps in select regions. Eco-friendly routing, in case you don’t know, lets drivers identify and select the most fuel-efficient route to their destinations. With the developers getting an option to enable this in their applications, eco-friendly routing will also be available across all the apps including delivery or ridesharing services. Google added that the developers will also be able to select an engine type to get the most accurate fuel or energy savings estimates. This particular feature will be available to developers in a preview in the coming weeks.
All these features are expected to improve the overall experience of using Google Maps for both users and developers alike. Google Maps continues to remain a popular choice for millions of users, and we think these new features will only make things better for both new and existing users.