Using Google maps with handy tips, tricks (2)
How to check bus and train timetables
You can also use Google Maps to check up on bus and train times to any location. Simply enter the location you want to travel to in the search bar, tap on ‘Directions’ and tap on the icon of the train at the top. You will see a list of options based on the current time.
If you want to check when a later train is available or see when the last train leaves, then tap where it says ‘Depart at’ and enter a specific time, or you can tap on ‘Last’ to find your latest option. You can also filter the results by type of transport (bus, train, underground), and set preferences in terms of fewer transfers or less walking via ‘Options’ in the top-right corner.
How to see where you’ve been
Google Maps keeps a record of your travels and you can review it via your browser. You can use the calendar located in the top-left corner to select specific dates, or date ranges to see weeks and months.
Beneath the calendar, you will also see options to ‘Delete history from this time period’ and ‘Delete all history’. You can also turn this tracking off by opening the Google Settings app, and tapping Location > Google Location History. Toggle it off completely, or choose specific devices that you want it turned off for. Bear in mind that, if you don’t have GPS on and High accuracy mode set under ‘Location’ in your ‘Settings’ all the time, then you may see some approximate locations that are way off where you really were.
How to find where to eat and when
If you zoom in on an area in Google Maps, say New York’s Central Park, then you’ll see an option at the bottom of the screen that says ‘Explore’. You can tap it to get categorised recommendations for nearby places to visit where you can get food and drinks. Even better, you can scroll through the options and tap ‘More’ to see what the hot spots are at different times throughout the day, and to find the best place for breakfast, dinner, or drinks. It’s great for planning ahead.
How to change your view
Tap the icon at the top right, that looks like two layers stacked, and you’ll find view options for ‘Satellite’ and ‘Terrain’. You can always tilt your map and get an isometric view in Google Maps. Tap and hold on the map with two fingers slightly apart and then swipe up. Moving your fingers in a circular motion will rotate the map. The ‘Terrain’ option will show some hills, but it also sometimes shows the interior plan of certain locations.
How to use voice commands in Navigation
There are various voice commands that you can use while you’re in Navigation mode in Google Maps. You just have to tap the microphone icon at the top right and then speak your command. You can turn off the voice by saying “Mute,” or “Be quiet.” You can also “Show traffic,” ask it to “Show alternate routes,” or say “Next turn” to find out what your next turn is. Many options have multiple triggers and there are many possibilities, but you can browse Google’s full list of voice commands for a detailed summary of the various commands.
How to get directions for multiple locations
You can plot a route in Google Maps that goes through multiple locations. To do so, set up directions for your first location like you normally would, then tap the three vertical dots in the top right and choose ‘Add stop’. Add as many stops as you need and then tap ‘Finished’. Google Maps will now guide you to each location in turn.
If you prefer, you can also set this up using your browser. Make sure you’re signed in with your Google account, and search for the directions via Google Maps. There’s a small plus icon in the top left, under your destinations, which allows you to add a destination. You can plot a whole itinerary this way. When you’re done, simply tap ‘Send directions to your phone’. To enable this feature in iOS, launch the Google Maps app, tap Settings > Notifications, and make sure that Notifications are enabled and Sent from desktop maps is checked.
How to create your own maps
Whether you want to share your knowledge with friends, or help guide your kids or elderly parents, the ability to create custom maps can prove very useful. Google actually offers a comprehensive set of tools for creating your own maps, marking routes, points of interest, directions, and more. To get started, make sure you’re signed into your Google account and go to ‘My Maps’ in your browser.
You should get a short tutorial with tips if this is the first time you’ve tried it. It’s easy to set a location and mark your POIs and routes, but you can also import layers and data, colour different areas and routes, and a lot more. Your creations are automatically saved to your Google Drive, and you can find them in the Google Maps app on your phone via the menu > Your places.
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