It's hard to believe that Google’s mapping service was launched only ten years ago as it has become an indispensable tool in our lives and altered the way we interact with maps and look at the world. With Google Maps, it has become easier than ever to get driving directions wherever you want to go or find the closest sushi restaurant or bar. But besides these casual tasks, there's much more that Google Maps can offer. We've rounded up a few tips and tricks that will vastly enhance your mapping experience and help you get even more from your maps.
Search for Flights
We used to think of Google Maps as a good way to get walking or driving directions, but did you know it can also search for flights? Put in your current location and your destination and you'll get flight options. The service lets you select the dates of your trip and shows a list of available flights, filtered by time, airlines, price, and so on. Results include links to buy flights.
Catch the Last Train
It seems that Google Maps can be pretty helpful with any means of transport. If you're a frequent train traveler, this tool might turn to be a real helping hand. Most trains don't run all night and if you're afraid you can miss the last one while having fun at a party or a gig in the city, Google can make it easy to check what time your last train home leaves. Just type in your destination, pick the train icon, then “Settings”, and choose “Last” and “Done”. Google Maps will show you all the last trains and buses that can take you home.
Save Maps on Your Device for Offline Mode
If you're going to a place where you know you won't have a web connection, simply save the map before starting your journey. Just find the area on the map while you have the Internet and type 'OK Maps' in the search box. The required place can be found under the "Your places" category in the app.
Save Your Favorite Locations
Want to have quick access to your favorite locations or just save an interesting store or coffeehouse your want to go to later? Google Maps lets you save spots as easy-to-find stars. Simply drop a pin by holding down a location on the map, then tap the bottom bar, and use the “Save” option. It is also a good idea to save your home and work addresses on the map just to speed up the process of getting directions to or from the places you live and work.
We all are used to zoom in and out Google Maps on our devices using the pinching gesture. But there are times when you don't have both hands available, for example, while driving or walking with a cup of coffee in your hand. In this case you just need to double-tap the screen and on the second tap hold your finger down, then just slide your finger up or down to zoom in and out. Pretty handy!
Alter Your Course and Avoid Paying Tolls
Don't like the driving route offered by Google Maps? Simply grab the blue route line and drag the white dot to another road and have a new route created. This might be particular handy if you want to avoid high traffic roads, construction areas, or just want to choose a more scenic road. Moreover, it can save you a couple of bucks if you'd rather avoid toll roads or bridges. To view free access routes, tap “Route Options” and toggle “tolls” off. But keep in mind that choosing a toll-free road might not always be a beneficial way as it can add miles to your trip.
Find Upcoming Events
If you visit a new city, you are certainly interested in the upcoming events there. But searching for them might take quite some time. Use Google Maps to get a list of the events by entering the name of a venue or choosing a spot on the map. From there, you can purchase tickets to the event venue you find interesting.
Add Your Own Marker on Maps
Google's mapping service allows you to actually edit its maps by creating your own objects and offering corrections to the existing ones. With Google Map Maker, you can help Google improve the maps by submitting the information, for instance, on newly opened or closed places in your local area. Don't think you can joke around though, as all submitted info is checked by a team of moderators and there's just no point in wasting time on that.