July 21st, 2015
Google Maps is getting personal. At Google’s I/O developer’s conference in San Francisco today, the tech giant announced that it has rebuilt Google Maps so that it pulls information about users from all of Google’s services — including search and Google+ -- in order to serve up maps that are tailored to a user's interests.
When users are signed into Google and conduct searches or save their favorite places, Google will keep track of all that data and incorporate it into Google Maps. The idea is that a map can make smarter recommendations based on a user's likes and search history. When users click on a location on a map, Google will automatically highlight related locations and roads to help them discover and get to new places and businesses easier. It can also display recommendations from friends via Google+.
Related: Google+ Gets a Major Makeover
When a user clicks on a place on the map, a window appears with more information, such as location and hours of operation. Click on the Directions tab and Google will provide turn-by-turn directions to that place or offer different public transportation options.
3-D satellite imagery from Google Earth will also be incorporated into Google Maps, allowing users to explore areas in greater visual detail. Previously, it was only available as a separate app. Users can also access street view images and photo tours of various businesses and other locations, Google said.
Google says the redesigned Google Maps is available only via a desktop version to start, but that it will be updating its Android and iOS apps in the coming weeks. Individuals can request an invite to begin using the new Google Maps starting today.
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