Google has announced a number of updates to its Maps application
, including the addition of AI to improve the overall user experience.
Google rolled out an immersive view
, which “fuses billions of Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of the world.” It will improve how users interpret directions and will have a time slider so that users can plan the best time to leave based on traffic projections or weather conditions. Immersive view is available for Android and iOS in select cities across Europe, the US and Japan.
Lens in Maps, formerly called Search with Live View, is a feature that helps users get comfortable in new surroundings by using AI and augmented reality to display information for nearby stores, restaurants, landmarks, and attractions. Lens in Maps is available from the Lens icon on the search bar and will be available in 50 cities around the globe.
Electric Vehicles (EV) drivers will receive more information on charging stations, including the charging station compatibility with the vehicle, the type of charging station (fast, medium, or slow), and when the charging station was last used.
The improved Search feature allows users to search more broadly. For example, a search for “things to do in Tokyo” will provide a list of places organized by theme such as “art exhibitions” or “cherry blossoms.” Users will be able to tap on the results to learn more or save the location. Thematic results will become available globally in upcoming weeks.
Search will also evolve to allow for more descriptive searches. “Walk in a park with dog” will produce photo-first results compiled using advanced image recognition AI models. These models have been trained using billions of photos shared by the Google Maps community. This new way to search has started rolling out in France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US and will expand to more countries “over time.”
Chris Phillips, VP & General Manager, Geo, is confident that these changes will enhance user experience. “Google Maps is transforming how people explore and navigate, and AI continues to play a pivotal role in bringing how we’re building innovative experiences for people around the world.”