August 12, 2022

  • The advent of Google Maps, an online mapping platform, is perhaps one of the most significant landmarks in information technology advancements. The application aids in navigating to unknown destinations, especially in unfamiliar locations.

    It has a repository of data that captures information about key places and transit routes.

    However, there is more to Google Maps than just showing directions. The application offers an array of solutions that come in handy for millions of users in the country.

    1. Tracing Parking Slots

    Google Maps provides a feature that allows the user to trace the specific space a car is parked. In the application, a feature labeled “save parking” allows you to mark the parking slot.

    A google map screenshot showing heavy traffic on Mombasa road on Tuesday, May 4
    A google map screenshot showing heavy traffic on Mombasa road on Tuesday, May 4

    This function starts with the user tapping the blue location icon in the application. Among the options in the menu at the bottom, select “save parking” which will in turn place a yellow pin on the map indicating the demarcations of the parking slot. 

    ​​​​​​​The feature also allows the user to share the parking location without necessarily tracing it physically. 

    2. Real-time Traffic Updates

    Google Maps can prove important for a motorist in avoiding traffic. The online map shows the movement of traffic on all available routes for the user to reach their destination. 

    Upon selecting a destination, the app calculates the possible time to navigate to the location and the available route options. In addition, the app signals the traffic situation along the route.

    A red stripe is used to mark congested areas and the time likely to be used is indicated as well. The app also gives a history of traffic conditions on a route and thus makes it easy for a user to make a decision about the route to take. This helps in saving time and fuel.

    3. Sharing Location with Friends

    This tool also has a feature that enables a user to share a location with another person using the same platform. To share your location, tap on the profile icon at the top of your screen. This will open an option of “location sharing” through various platforms including e-mail and WhatsApp. 

    The link generated will enable you to share your location with a friend with constraints. 

    4. Finding Gas Stations

    Google Maps’ data has information about filling stations on the various routes. The tool helps a driver locate the nearest petrol station while navigating a route.

    To locate the nearest gas station, tap the fuelling icon at the top of your screen. This will open a window showing all filling stations in your vicinity. 

    The feature also provides an option of adding filters in the cases where a user is looking for specific gas stations. This saves a driver from the headache of locating the nearest filling station. Some advanced versions of Google Maps also show the cost of fuel at the different stations.

    5. Showing Location History

    This tool can also track the locations you have visited. This feature keeps a record of all places you have been to for future review. It shows the places and routes used at a specific time. This information is private to the user and can be deleted at any time. 

    To use this feature, click on the menu bar in the top left corner. This will provide a feature labeled as “timeline” which upon selecting dates will give you an account of your travels including details of distance and time.

    Besides the conventionally known functions of Google Maps that include navigation and determining locations, the above functions could make your experience with the application better.

    A large sign outside Google's offices in San Francisco.
    A large sign outside Google’s offices in San Francisco.
    File
  • Source: kENYANS.CO.KE

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