20 tricks for Google Maps that are worth trying

20 tricks for Google Maps that are worth trying

Google Maps has become one of our main tools . When we take a trip we no longer use a dedicated GPS. Instead we turn on the mobile, look for the route and follow the instructions of the assistant on these maps. And for the rest of things, the same.

What have you been scheduled for a job interview? Well, you start Google Maps to guide you to the correct destination point. What do you want to find a good Italian restaurant in the city? What do you need to know the business hours of a store? You just have to turn on your mobile and give directions to Google Maps.

But this application can be even more useful to you. Whether you access it through the application or from the desktop, here are 20 tricks for Google Maps that you should try . They are all useful. So as soon as you try them, you will realize that you can no longer live without them.

save places

1. Create a list with favorite places

Let's start with the first trick. Creating a list of favorite places will be great if you usually pass through an area and need to have a collection of sites in memory. Imagine that you work in a certain area of ​​Barcelona and you have to eat away from home every day. It would be good for you to have a list of good sites to vary, right? Well, with everything.

Creating and sharing lists of favorite places is very easy. Find the place that interests you and click on it. When you're inside, a tab will open. Click on the Save button . Then you can choose between different lists. If you have not created it yet, give it a name (for example, Restaurants to eat near work ). When you want to insert another site, you just have to select this list.

You can create as many lists as you want. And then, for example, you can share them with other people. You can send the link to your friends, family or colleagues (just have their contact). And then you will also have the option of making lists public, so that any user can access them . For example, you can make the Top 10 of the best oriental restaurants in Madrid. And offer other Google Maps users the possibility of knowing these places.

If you want to recover the lists, you can do it at any time, accessing the Your Sites section. Find them within the Saved section and click on the three dots. Here you can choose the Options to share and select Private, Shared or Public.

2. Configure traffic alerts

If you usually travel by car, traffic alerts will be very useful to take into account possible mishaps. Especially if they are traffic accidents, retentions and other occasional circumstances. This is a much more interesting option for mobile, especially because when you will be most interested in receiving traffic alerts, it will be when you are away from home or the office.

To configure alerts, access the Google Maps application. Then go to Settings> Notifications> Traffic . Here you must have the two alerts located. Nearby Traffic Events (to receive direct warnings about planned roadblocks and events that may affect traffic) and Nearby Traffic (a small report that will be triggered based on your location)

If you want to configure more alerts, you can take a look below at other options. Because the truth is that Google Maps offers us the opportunity to select many more types of notifications. Everything will depend on what you need, where you live and how you get around.

park google maps

3. Find my car

Are you one of those who take photos where they park to keep your car out of sight? Well, here you have an interesting solution. It is the possibility of saving the location of your parking in Google Maps. If you are at the point where you have parked, click on the blue point that marks your position. Then choose the Save parking option.

When you want to return to the car, open the application again and click on the P on the map. That is the place where you have parked your vehicle. You can ask Google to walk you there . And ready.

Parking on Google Maps

4. Add your Home and your Work

It is another essential step. If you usually consult the maps, it will be great to have your Home and Work locations added permanently . In this way, you will be able to configure routes quickly, without having to add your address or that of your work position each time.

Access Google Maps from your mobile. And then go to  Menu> Your sites. Within the Tagged tab, you will see two options Home and Work. Click on Set Home or Set Low to find them on the map. You will only have to indicate your addresses and mark the place. From now on, when you want to leave or get home or work, you will only have to indicate "Home" or "Work".

5. Check your location history

If you have GPS enabled on your phone and you use Google Maps often, you should be aware that Google will have stored your location history . It is a detective task that will allow you to go back to any day to find out the places you traveled to, just with the time and the routes.

This can help you remember when you went somewhere. Or to calculate the fastest routes. Tap Menu from the desktop or mobile, and choose your Timeline . And go to the specific day. You will be able to see the routes you have followed, both by car and on foot.

One of the most interesting features of this functionality is, without a doubt, the calculation of distances. If you are thinking of taking care of your health a little more, you have to see this. Because by accessing the routes you have traveled, you will be able to see how many kilometers you have done on foot during the day . And how many have you done by car.

Most likely, if you live in a city, you will be surprised at how many meters and meters you walk every day. And this is already a more than remarkable exercise. If you always move by car, you may have to think about things. This information will be great for you to become aware of what you do.

You will also be able to more easily remember the name of a restaurant you went to a year ago, on a certain date. And the name of which does not come out. Just go back to that day and get your visit back.

Accessing this history is very easy if you do it from the desktop version of Google Maps. Navigation is smoother, no doubt. However, you can also access your movement history through the application . Go to the Google Maps menu and click on Your chronology.

Information that you inadvertently provide to Google is also useful for the app to provide predictions and calculations. Thus, if you have notifications activated, you may receive alerts about how the traffic is today or which routes are better to get home earlier.

6. Download a map to consult offline

Always pulling your connection to use the maps can use up your data quota in the blink of an eye. That is why it is interesting that if you do not want to consume excess data, you download the maps to consult them offline. Access the Menu> Offline Maps> Select your own map .

You will have to mark an area on the map and above all, make sure that you are connected to WiFi. This way you will not consume too much data. At the bottom you will see how much it occupies. Simply click on Download. From now on you can access this map at any time. And even if you don't have a mobile connection.

This feature will also be very useful for inquiries if you are traveling . Although you do not have roaming now, it will come in handy if you travel to another country. And you don't want to waste data. If you move to a rural area and have coverage problems, this will also make it easier for you. Of course, it must be borne in mind that you will only see the indications to move by car, but not to go by public transport or on foot.

Share location with your friends

7. Share the location with your friends

Where are you right now? If you have a meeting with your friends and want to tell them faster where you are, you can share the location from Google Maps. Just tap Menu> Share location . It is as easy as this.

Then you will have to indicate how long you want to share your location in real time. And choose the people. You can then share it through your favorite messaging apps . If you use WhatsApp more often, you may be interested in doing it through this tool. But you can start a Hangout or any other application that is more useful to you.

8. Calibrate the compass

It may seem like a joke. But is not. There is a way to calibrate your device's compass to make Google Maps more accurate. To achieve this, access Google Maps and click on your location point on the map. A blue screen will open. At the bottom you will see the Calibrate compass option. 

Tilt and shake the phone three times making an eight. At the bottom you will see how accurate the compass is. If "high" is indicated, you can end the calibration .

share address

9. Send the address of a place

You can also easily share the address of a place with another person. What you have to do is access Google Maps and search for the place in question. Click on it to open the file and click on Share. You can then select the medium through which you share. And you can easily do it through WhatsApp. 

However, if you prefer other applications, you can also use them. For example, you can send the address via email from Gmail . Through Telegram. Or using your Bluetooth connection.

10. Add a stop to your route

Sometimes we don't plan to go from one place to another. Rather, we want to make one or more stops before reaching our destination. Well, there is an option, with which we can add a stop to the route. Imagine that you leave Barcelona and want to get to Madrid, but first you want to make a couple of stops. One in Lleida and another in Zaragoza.

When you have the point of departure and arrival added, you will only have to click on the Add icon. Google Maps will mark the route to your destination, but taking into account your stop or stops. This way you can better consider your times.

If it's a regular route, you can save it as a map. And use it on future occasions. Or share it with other people who also need to do it. 

control rush hour

11. Control the rush hours of the places

Some public sites offer Google Maps users the ability to control peak times for places. For what? Well, imagine that you want to return a gift to a well-known department store in Madrid. And today the sales season begins.

Well, you have the option to see if the place is very crowded at a certain time. And choose the quietest time to run your errand. If real-time information is not available, you will have the option to take a look at the average. And most likely it is very realistic.

In blue you will see the less crowded hours. In pink you will have indicated those in which more agglomerations usually occur. In this case (look at the capture), it would be better for you to visit El Corte Inglés at lunchtime, instead of between five and six in the afternoon.

12. Avoid tolls

One of the drawbacks, among many others, that our roads have are tolls. Sometimes you want to move to a place and by inertia you decide to go through the highway. When in fact, the national highway is little crowded. Well, know that from Google Maps you have the option of making routes avoiding tolls. 

Choose a place to go and click on How to get there . Click on Options and select which obstacles you want to avoid. You can select the following: Highways, Tolls and Ferries. From this moment on, the route will dispense with these elements. And it will recommend alternative routes, in which it is not necessary to pay a toll. Or that they do not pass by a highway that leaves you by an eye of the face.

13. Save or insert a map

The map you see above of the Aqueduct of Segovia is not an image , but an embedded map. You can insert a map wherever you want. You just have to copy the embed code. In this way, your readers can access the map directly. All you have to do is click on it to open it in your browser or on your mobile.

Access the place in question. We have searched for 'Aqueduct of Segovia'. Next, click on the Share option and select the Insert map tab. You will see that Google Maps provides you with an address. It is a code that you have to add to the page you want . You can choose the dimensions or a custom size.

14. Find public transportation routes

If you live in a big city, using this feature will come in handy. Especially if you are also a staunch user of public transport. Google Maps is great for this. Because indicating a route, it will offer you the possibility of obtaining a detailed map with all the public transport options you have . Including subway, bus, railway, train, etc.

What you have to do very simple. Indicate your place of origin and destination. Next, Google Maps will create a route , which you can follow with the medium you want. And even walking. Click on the Public Transport icon to see all the options you have at your fingertips.

Chances are that if you live in Barcelona, ​​Madrid or Valencia, you will get numerous options. Surely to make the journey by metro, by bus, using the railway or tram. You may find combined means of transport and you may have to do some sections on foot. Especially if none of the indicated means reaches the area you are going to. In any case, you will get a very exact route. And it will not be necessary for you to wonder or get lost in the thousand and one routes that the city bus usually has.

As a second advantage is that of time. With these predictions and adjusting the predictions based on real times and traffic information, you will get an estimate of the time it may take to reach your destination. This way you will know if it is more convenient to go to that place by metro or you can take the bus. 

Activate satellite view

15. Activate satellite view

Sometimes, for whatever reason, we are interested in seeing a map with the satellite view. It's very easy, because you don't need to access Google Earth. Google Maps already includes an option that allows us to see the territory, as if we were doing it from a real bird's eye view. This allows us to see exactly the buildings, squares, parks and anything else you want to see as the satellite has photographed it.

It can be very useful if you are looking for a specific plot. Or if you want to do some checking on the spot. To activate the satellite view, search for the place in question. Then press Menu> Satellite to activate it . And then you just have to navigate.

16. Add Live Traffic Layer

Google offers us quite precise calculations of all the incidents that occur in the traffic state. Thus, before leaving home, you can find out if there has been an accident on the road you usually travel on. Or if there is some kind of strange retention. What is this for? Well logically, so you can use an alternative route and anticipate the traffic jam. You will save time and you will not waste time first thing in the morning .

All mobile phones that travel, together with their owners, in cars are responsible for providing this information. And this is great, because the data is much more accurate. You can activate the traffic layer by clicking Menu> Traffic .

You can do it without problems from the desktop version. But logically, also from the Google Maps application for the mobile. Also access the menu and click on Satellite and Traffic . You will need to activate the specific layer of traffic. In green you will see the fluid routes, in orange those that are quite complicated and in red the traffic jams or retentions.

You will also see in intense red (almost garnet) the most complicated areas. Accidents, works and specific prohibitions are marked with circles. You will be given the specific street and the time that has passed since the incident was reported. This data can be useful to know if when you get to that point, the congestion will still be there.

google taxi

17. Calculate the taxi price

For some months now, Google has partnered with the main companies that are dedicated to providing taxis to users of different applications. Its objective? Nurture users with more information. In return they offer direct download recommendations for tools like Uber, Cabify or MyTaxi. From the transaction, users get an estimate of the waiting time. And the price for traveling through different modalities.

For Google to do the calculation , you have to indicate a starting place and a destination. Next, Google Maps will provide you with information about the different routes. If you want to do it on foot, by car, by subway, by bicycle or by taxi. Click here to see the prices and routes with the different companies.

If you want, and you have one of these apps installed, you can open it directly . And book your trip.

18. Enable notifications

If you use Google Maps a lot to make routes and see places, it might be interesting to activate the notifications that may be more interesting to you. There are many, so we recommend you access this section to check which ones are best for you to activate .

Access Menu> Settings> Notifications and go activating all those notifications you need. You can choose between different options, within these categories: Traffic, Commuting from home to work, Public transport, Navigation, Your contributions, People and places, Car services with driver, Offline maps and News from Maps.

The latter are less useful, but if you want to keep up to date with the news in traffic , problems and news related to public transport (delays, works, breakdowns ...) you have to activate these options.

calculate distance

19. Calculate distances on the map

If you want to calculate a distance, you can do it on the map and in a straight line. We recommend you open the map you need in the desktop version. Then, right-click on the point that interests you. Choose the Measure distance option. 

Drag the mouse to the destination point. Google Maps will automatically calculate the real distance on the ground. You will get an exact measurement, yes, in a straight line. To delete the measurement, right-click the map again and choose Delete measurement. 

20. View the bump map

And finally, let's take a look at an interesting layer: it is the one that offers us the possibility of seeing the reliefs. This is interesting, for example, if you are new to the city and need to know which are the most important slopes . In this way, for example, you can decide whether or not it is convenient to ride a bicycle to a place. Or if it is preferable to take advantage of this means of transport in the downhill or flatter areas.

For example, if you live in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona and you go to work in the Sants district, you can use the bicycle as a means of transport. You won't have to pedal too much. But to get back home, maybe you'd better take the subway. Bump maps can be used for many other things , such as designing hiking trails or other nature trips.