Google just announced that is introducing new updates to its Google Maps app that will allow users to get more out of the Live View feature than ever before.
For those unfamiliar, Live View is an augmented reality walking directions feature in Google Maps that uses your mobile device’s camera and GPS to tell where you are, where you’re going, and how to get there.
Designed to help people get around in a more efficient manner, the live view feature introduces augmented reality into Google Maps’ navigation mode to help users spend less time figuring out which way to go. In short, Google Maps is using AR technology to show users arrows, directions, and distance markers right on top of their actual world, allowing them to get from point A to point B without wasting time.
With the update, you can now access Live View from the transit tab in Google Maps when you’re on a trip that combines multiple modes of transportation, including walking, biking, transit, and driving. This means that you can plan a journey that includes taking the subway or the bus or both and still be able to get AR directions during the walking portion of your trip.
Google Maps launched multi-modal navigation in 2018, but previously, Live View was only available to those in need of just walking directions.
Once the rollout of these new features is complete, you’ll also be able to identify nearby landmarks with Google Maps so you can “quickly and easily orient yourself” and get a clearer idea of where you are and in what direction you need to be heading. With Live View, Google Maps will even show you the distance between your current location and a certain landmark. Google said in a blog post that these landmarks may include iconic locations such as the “Empire State Building in New York and the Pantheon in Rome, and recognizable places, like local parks and tourist attractions.”
Additionally, Google is also launching Live View in Location Sharing for Android and iOS users around the world. Now, when a friend chooses to share a location with you, you can see where they are by simply tapping on their icon and then on Live View. Google Maps will show where and how far away they are, and it will also provide you with overlaid arrows and directions to help you find them.
Google is also using machine learning and topographical maps to improve the accuracy of its pin marker. Before the latest update, when you dropped the pin near a hilly area, it would appear to be far off from where you really placed it. Now, according to Google, you’ll notice that the pin is better “aligned with where the street begins at the bottom of the hill.”
What do you think of the new features in Google Maps’ Live View so far? Let us know in the comments below.