7 Best Ways To Use Google Maps

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An average web user uses Google Maps simply to see general map layouts of geographical areas. But it's much more than that. You can use it for several other important tasks other than simply watching maps. These important features and extensions provide immense value to the user helping him in his daily routine. Today we are going to see some of the best uses of Google maps that will change the way you use this useful Google service. It's a boon for daily commuters as well as for frequent travelers. All of these extended features are extremely easy to use and doesn't require much effort to get most out of them. So let's get started and see how useful these features are and how to use them effectively.

Google maps directions - Whether you're commuting within a large metro city or going for a long distance travel, this feature can save your time and money very easily. To use this feature simply click the 'Get directions' button on the top left side. It will present you with two fields to specify the start address and your destination. As you type the name of the place, you will get automatic suggestions from the drop down menu. You can select from one of the suggested options that matches your query and can populate both fields very quickly.

Finally click the big blue 'GET DIRECTIONS' button to get the resulting directions map on the right side. Google maps intelligently scans and finds all possible routes between both ends and present them in a user-friendly format both on the map as well on the left sidebar. You not only get the distance, but also gets the actual road or highway map with driving instructions for each possible route. You can compare all the routes and can choose the best one that suits you.

Google maps weather - As the name implies, this useful feature is your personal weather reporting engine embedded directly within Google maps. To use this feature, zoom-in to the relevant area and simply click the 'Weather' option from the drop down menu located at the top right side of the map.

Google maps weather

This brings the latest weather conditions on the map as well as on the left sidebar. You can see the temperatures in either Celsius or Fahrenheit format as per your preferences. You also get graphic indications about how the general weather will remain in next 24 hours. These conditions include sunny, cloudy, rainy, humidity level and much more.

Google maps webcams - This feature can be a life saver in extreme weather conditions. Those traveling for long distances in volatile weather conditions can use this feature to get a fair idea about how traffic is commuting at important crossroads and subways. To use this feature, simply click the 'Webcams' option from the drop down menu at the top right side of the map.

Google maps traffic webcam

Once activated, you'll get the links to all major webcam still shots in the area. These shots are not more than an hour old so you can get a good idea of traffic conditions in these areas. This feature is very useful for users going on a long destination with lot of subways and busy crossroads. These still shots are updated frequently after sometime depending on the importance and the traffic conditions of that particular area.

Google maps terrain - If you're a student or an adventure traveler, then this feature can help you immensely. To activate this option, simply click the 'Terrain' option from the drop down menu on the top right side of the map. Remember, this feature only works in 'Map view' and if you're already in 'Satellite view', you must change the view mode before clicking this option.

Google maps terrain

This feature presents you the geographical and topographical view of the surface to give you better view of the plains. This includes mountains, trenches, elevations, water bodies and much more. Geography students will find it extremely useful to study the surface details of areas. You can also zoom-in to get detailed topographical data about each area you want to study.

Google maps photos - This is one of my favorite Google maps feature. This feature is extremely useful for tourists travelling in different parts of the world. To activate it, simply click the 'Photos' option from the drop down menu on the top right side of the map. This presents you with links of latest photos of different important places like gardens, monuments, parks, restaurants, markets and much more.

Google maps photos

This way you get to know about different important places within a limited geographical area and you can view the latest snaps before deciding your visit plan. This feature is used by tourists from all over the world and they find it very helpful in preparing the list of good tourist destinations within a single city. You can also suggest some good places to Google maps photos by uploading pictures while this feature is in active state.

Google maps MapsGL - This is a relatively new yet extremely exciting Google maps extended feature. It's something similar to Google Earth's 3D street viewing experience. Through this feature you can view 3D buildings, complete 3D tours of streets and can experience 45-degree aerial view imagery. Remember, this feature is still in beta stage and you may see some more changes to it in the coming time.

Google maps MapsGL

To use this awesome feature, you must use a modern browser and your computer must fulfill the minimum system requirements. This feature is very addictive and gives you a virtual tour of the locality. I've used this feature on Google Chrome browser and it worked like charm. This feature is ideal for potential customers looking to buy land or home in a new locality.

Google maps transit - This is yet another extremely useful feature for daily commuters. To enable this feature, simply click the 'Transit' option from the drop down menu on the right side on the map. Once activated, your map will be overlaid by public transport system with different color lines representing different types of public transport network.

Google maps transit

This includes underground metro route, subways, highways, bypasses and much more. A general map without this feature shows all the routes within an area, but you can never be sure which one is the active public transport route. Google maps transit ensures you get the latest data about all active public transport networks in your city. You can use this feature along with other features (discussed above) to find the best route for reaching your favorite destination.


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