Google Maps is without a doubt the best and most popular maps and navigation application available today. It is a powerful tool that can help you find any location on the map and get its direction. But those are just the basics—there are many more Google Maps features you can use.
Here are five Google Maps features you should know about:
1. Search for stops
If you’re on a road trip and realize you forgot to pick up something, you can take out your phone and use this Google Maps feature to find a relevant stop nearby, without having to take a detour. You only need to tap on the magnifying glass in the top-right corner of the app and search for a stop that has what you need. It could be, a gas station, grocery store, hotel, etc.
2. Offline maps
If you are travelling in a remote area where there is no internet connection, you can still use Google Maps to find your way. The offline feature lets you download the map of a certain area and navigate around it even without internet access.
You can use this Google Maps feature in forests, deserts, or any remote area. All you have to do is search for the place on the map and download it prior to your visit.
3. Google Maps street view
One of the coolest Google Maps features is the street view function. As the name suggests, it lets you see exactly how a certain place looks, as if you are right there. You can use it to get an idea of a place before you make a visit.
To get the Street View of a specific street or road, just search for it on the map, then click on it and select the street view option that pops up. You will get a 360 degrees view of the place, complete with vehicles on the road, buildings, and even people going about their daily activities.
4. EV charging stations
This Google Maps feature can help you if you are planning to go on a road trip in an electric car. You should know the nearby EV charging stations, just in case you may need to recharge your car. Google Maps makes this easy. You simply search for “EV charging stations” and it will show you all the available charging stations that are nearby, with all their information including the types of EV chargers available.
5. Google Maps voice command
If you are planning to go on a road trip, why not try out the voice command? It is a voice control Google Maps feature that lets you comfortably drive while using the app hands-free, without getting distracted.
To use the voice command on Google Maps, all you need to do is open the app on your phone and say, “OK Google” or tap the microphone icon. You can ask Google Maps to tell you where you are or when you should make your next turn.
Google Maps is a perfect tool with many features for navigation, finding places to go, and getting around when you travel. The best thing about it is that it is absolutely free to use—you don’t need to pay to access it. The only requirement is that you have a smartphone with internet connectivity.