Three years after its last major update, Google Maps has received a new, higher-resolution imagery. The previous update made this Web application more usable by eliminating clouds using satellite imagery made by NASA’s Landsat 7. The new higher-resolution imagery can be previewed immediately, with numerous portions of the world having already received a new layer of structured data.
Google has made an announcement that it uses NASA’s Landsat 8 in order to get far sharper and detailed images. The new Earth view is now crafted from nearly a petabyte of data, containing astonishing 700 trillion pixels.
Interestingly enough, Landsat 8 uses an open source library, which means that organizations around the world can access photos made by this satellite. Even though scientists use this imagery to track global environmental changes and to track the spread of diseases, Google is using it to improve its Google Maps and to provide a much clearer view of our planet.
If you aren’t using Google’s Maps or Earth apps, now is the time to consider using them. In order to celebrate the new major version, we bring you an overview of the best tips and tricks to kick-start your user experience.
1. One of the first things you’ll want to do in Google Maps is to input your home and work addresses. This will allow the app to suggest the best routes to your home and work, as well as to easily get notified in case of traffic jams. To do this, open the app and tap on the menu button (in the top left corner). You will see an item called “Your Places”. This is where you can easily input the information.
2. While most users start the Google Maps Navigation feature by manually inputting the address they need, this can be done much quicker. Open the app and then touch and hold the blue transportation icon at the bottom right. This will automatically trigger the Navigation view.
3. Many Google Maps users aren’t aware that they can share their location. This is a very nifty feature that can be helpful at times. To do this, tap and hold on your location until you see a dropped pin. By tapping on that pin you will see that you can share the location info. Tap on Share and select an app using which you can share your data.
4. Zooming in can be done by pinching in, but you can also zoom one-handed. We are not talking about double tapping to zoom in, which is something many users are familiar with. You can tap twice on the map, leaving your finger on the screen. Now swipe down to zoom in and swipe up to zoom out.
5. No matter how much they love using this app, many users believe that you have to be online in order to use it. However, this is not the case. You can download and view maps offline, which can be of great use if you plan on spending time somewhere where you don’t have Internet access. First, you need to open a map by searching for a city. You should see a zoomed out plan of the city you searched for. Tap on the bottom positioned bar, and then choose Menu (represented by three vertical dots). This is where you can tap on “Save Offline Map”. Your saved maps will be listed in the main menu.
The previously listed tips work for both iOS and Android users. We hope you’ve found something that you’re going to use on a daily basis, in order to help you navigate better.
Google Maps is an amazing app, providing you access to vast amounts of data. If you are not using the app, now is the time to give it a shot.