Google Maps is getting a bunch of recent options this week, so it is time for a roundup! The primary characteristic is unquestionably one no person requested for: the brand new “Group Feed,” which is clearly making an attempt to show Google Maps right into a social community. Google’s weblog put up says that “On daily basis, folks submit greater than 20 million contributions—together with suggestions for his or her favourite spots, updates to enterprise companies, contemporary evaluations and rankings, images, solutions to different folks’s questions, up to date addresses and extra.” So now Google Maps is getting a Information Feed stuffed with all these evaluations and updates.

Google’s gross sales pitch reads “The feed reveals you the newest evaluations, images and posts added to Google Maps by native consultants and folks you observe in addition to food and drinks retailers, and articles from publishers like The Infatuation.” All of those updates are within the model of a social community, with the writer on the prime, a “observe” hyperlink for the writer, and the power to “like” posts. The one factor it is lacking is feedback!

To indicate how critical it’s about this Google Maps Social Community factor, Google is placing the neighborhood feed front-and-center within the interface. Once you open Google Maps, the neighborhood feed card is peeking up from the highest of the display, proper on the primary web page of Maps. You simply swipe up on it to learn the newest updates. In the event you’re not on the primary web page of Maps, the neighborhood feed lives underneath the “discover” tab, the primary tab on the Google Maps tab bar. This additionally appears like an awesome spot for advertisements.

Apart from folks you actively observe, it appears like Google Maps goes to push updates from “native consultants” to everybody, which hopefully will not be abused. Google has to imagine that, particularly at first, everybody goes to have zero followers, so you have to fill the feed with one thing. Google additionally says it should strive to determine your Google Maps pursuits and can fill the feed with suggestions for related locations. At this time these suggestions exist within the “updates” tab, which remains to be in Google’s new pictures. Appears redundant.

Constructing numbers and crosswalks

Left: crosswalk markers on the roads. Right: Building numbers!
Enlarge / Left: crosswalk markers on the roads. Proper: Constructing numbers!

For a much less controversial addition, how about constructing numbers and crosswalks? Android Police has noticed much more element being added to sure cities in Google Maps. In the event you zoom all the best way in on locations like NYC, you may see striped crosswalk paint in some roads and tiny little constructing numbers letting the place the precise addresses are. These go nice with Google Maps’ different latest element addition: Visitors lights.

Android Police says this was first noticed within the Android Google Maps Beta, which you’ll join right here. I am additionally seeing it on Google Maps on the internet.

The “Go” tab: Google Maps Bookmarks

Extra tab shenanigans: Google Maps’ “Commute” tab (the second) is popping into the “Go” tab, which sounds much more helpful. Commute would solely listing navigation choices to your private home and work, however the “Go” tab is extra of a normal bookmark part. Apart from your private home and work, you can even pin continuously visited locations to the “Go” tab, and navigate them to with a faucet. It appears like this will even present solutions too, that are sometimes primarily based on issues like your journey and search historical past.

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Google says your pinned locations will present stay visitors information and correct ETAs proper from Go tab, which sounds useful. You too can pin public transit routes, which can present departure and arrival instances, an up-to-date ETA, and any service alerts.

Google says “The Go Tab begins rolling out on Android and iOS within the coming weeks.” There is not any phrase on if you can entry these bookmarks from the online. Google did not say something in regards to the social community being on the internet both. Somebody remind Google that Google Maps has an internet site.

“Linked Pictures” for Road View

Google’s ground-level Road View characteristic is getting one other type of imagery that is simpler to document with out particular gear. “Linked Pictures” is a brand new characteristic more-or-less replicates the expertise of strolling down a road with road view, however with out the effort of taking a 360-degree photograph. You simply fireplace up the brand new Road View app, stroll (or drive) down the road, and a few form of imagery might be created.

The characteristic requires an ARCore-compatible telephone, Google’s 3D sensing Augmented Actuality framework. It appears like what is occurring is that Google is recording a video with some 3D positional information, and as you progress down the road, one of the best frames might be saved and transformed right into a collection of nonetheless pictures for Road View. These aren’t 360 pictures, so you will not be capable of flip the digital camera, however it is possible for you to to press the ahead and backwards buttons to just about stroll down the road.

Again when this characteristic was in testing, it was known as “Driving Mode” for Road View. So I suppose Google needed you to place the telephones in a automobile mount, fireplace up the app, and let it gather as a lot information as attainable whilst you drive round. The weblog put up reveals a photograph from the center of a five-lane freeway, so it looks like turning your self into an novice, 120-degree Road View automobile remains to be one thing Google would love you to do.

Google’s weblog put up says “Earlier than this characteristic, you’ll sometimes want particular 360-degree cameras to seize and publish Road View imagery.” That’s …not correct. Android has been in a position to seize Road View imagery for years, through the PhotoSphere characteristic that launched in 2012 on Android 4.2. Google Maps uploads of PhotoSpheres have been supported since 2013. PhotoSpheres are full 360 pictures, and taking them on a telephone includes stitching collectively one thing like 15 images. Whereas the wizard walks you thru the steps, it takes ceaselessly to make one, so Linked Pictures is an easier, higher-bandwidth approach for the general public to contribute photos. It appears like that is solely an Android characteristic once more, and you may want a brand new model of the Road View app, not Google Maps.

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