Google Maps Poised for More Than Just Directions, Adds New Personal and Relevant Features


At Google I/O 2018, Google announced some new features to be added to Google Maps to make it more relevant as well as personal. These new features are fashioned to fit the specific needs and wants of users and are poised at making Google Maps far more than just directions.

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This includes a redesigned Explore tab designed to be better at selecting options and personalizing recommendations, better tools for making plans with friends, and a new  “For you” tab that’s designed to keep you in the know about what’s going on in your favorite stomping areas.

The ‘For You’ and ‘Explore’ Tabs

Making use of machine learning, Google Maps would better predict places you should love based on everything it knows about the businesses, and what it knows about your own preferences. The focus of these tabs will be on letting you know about the happenings (interesting events, new store openings) and also personal recommendations to help you try out new things.

This recommendations are culled by both tabs from information stored about you on Google’s servers. So for example, if you are someone that prefers intercontinental restaurants, the recommendations by the ‘For You’ tab will be more of those and will mostly avoid restaurants with local foods.

The “Your Match” and “Shortlist” Features

Another cool feature being added to Google Maps is “Your Match” which is poised to inform you of specific places Google thinks you would enjoy. This feature includes a rating that’s essentially Google’s guess, and this will be gotten by pulling information from your personal profile. So if you enjoy local foods, places that offer such would be rated higher than others that offer intercontinental dishes.

Google Maps is also adding a “Shortlist” feature that lets you share some businesses/places with your friends to help narrow down the selection. With this feature, your friends can vote for places they want to visit and also add their own recommendations.

Augmented Reality Feature

Google Maps currently work using a 2D view, which is not so very perfect as you could be working in any direction thinking you are following Google’s blue dots. To help with this, Google also announced a new feature that taps into your phone’s camera, blends “computer vision” with machine learning from the cloud and transform Maps into a Street View-like augmented reality (AR) experience.

Although a fragment of the map would still be shown, this feature provides you with visual directions to where you are going to as well as information pop-ups as you pass by landmarks.

These features, announced by Google, will be rolled out to Google Maps for both Android and iOS over the coming months.


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