7 Lesser-Known Google Maps Features

7 Lesser-Known Google Maps FeaturesGoogle-Maps-Features-GettyImages-1424854506-1.jpg

Hover the cursor over the Layers panel (bottom right), then click Biking. The map will then adjust the way routes are marked for cyclists, with different types of lines for trails, dedicated bike lanes, bicycle-friendly roads, and unpaved trails.

Add Your Own Locations

There are some spots that may be personal to you—the picnic area, usual parking space, the park bench, the friend’s house—that aren’t publicly marked on Google Maps. If they’re not marked, they’re harder to get to when you’re searching or navigating.

You can fix this by creating your own place: Tap and hold on a spot in the mobile app to drop a pin, then pull up the info card and choose Add label. These labels then show up in search results as flags on the map, and in your saved places.

Remember Where You Parked

Screenshot of Android maps

Never lose your parking spot again.

Courtesy of David Nield

There’s no need to waste time hunting for your car after a long day. Google Maps can remember it for you. When you’ve parked up, tap on the blue dot on the map in the mobile app, then choose Save parking from the panel that pops up.

When it’s time to get back, just search for “parking” in the app, to see the created label. You can also pan around the map to find the “you parked here” flag—tap on it and you can get directions right to the exact spot.

Report an Accident on the Road

Help out fellow Google Maps users by reporting accidents you come across on your travels: If you’re in navigation mode in the mobile app, tap the icon on the right (a plus symbol inside a search bubble), then choose one of the options listed.

These options actually vary by country, but you should see Crash as one of them. (Roadworks, congestion, and stalled vehicles are also sometimes listed.) If Google Maps gets enough of these individual reports, a warning will appear on the map for everyone.

Answer Questions About Places

Screenshot of Android

Ask questions to help out other Google Maps users.

Courtesy of David Nield

The social and community aspects of Google Maps tend to go overlooked, but you can find them via the Contribute tab in the mobile app. Tap Contribute now and you can answer some simple yes or no questions about places you’ve visited recently.

Maps will ask you about the place’s opening hours, whether it has valet parking, accessible entrances, and so on. Remember that one day you might be grateful that someone else made contributions like this, because they’ve helped you out in your own travels.

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