All posts in “Google-Maps”

Crowdsourced traffic is available for more Google Maps users

Waze and Google Maps are both Google-owned navigation apps. Now, they share even more features, especially those concerning traffic.

Starting Thursday, iPhone and other Google Maps users on iOS devices will join Android phones users with traffic reporting built into the app. Back in January, Android users could start to report traffic jams just like on the Waze app. Now, Apple users can join in on reporting crashes, speed traps, and traffic slowdowns.

On the Google Maps app, you’ll soon notice the plus sign (+) button on the righthand side underneath the volume, magnifying glass, and other icons. Click that bottom button to “add a report.” From there, all the reporting options will come up.

All Google Maps app users, regardless of device type, will be able to add four more types of traffic issues starting this week: construction, lane closures, disabled vehicles, and objects on the road (like debris, a mattress, or other trash). 

Let the traffic reporting begin!

Google’s Incognito mode for Maps is rolling out on Android this month

Hey spies (and everyone else who wants to keep their privacy reasonably intact), good news: You will soon be able to use Google Maps on your phone in Incognito mode. 

Google originally announced the feature during the Google I/O 2019 conference in May, and started testing it earlier this month. 

This month, however, the feature will finally launch. 

Incognito mode in Maps means that your activity on the phone won’t be saved to your Google Account or used to personalize Maps for you. 

Turning on Incognito mode is done by tapping your profile photo in the upper right corner of Maps and hitting “Turn on incognito mode.” After you’ve done that, your profile photo will turn into a little spy icon and Maps will display a black bar on top, indicating that Incognito mode is on. 

The feature is rolling out to Android users this month. Support for iOS is coming “soon,” Google says. 

In an announcement on its blog, Google also mentioned a few new privacy-oriented features, including the option to auto-delete your YouTube history. 

Another interesting new feature is a new way of managing your history with Google Assistant. Starting next week with the English version of Assistant (other languages are coming next month), you’ll be able to say something like, “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week,” and Assistant will comply. No software update is needed as this feature will roll out automatically. 

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He went missing 22 years ago. Then someone saw his car in a pond on Google Maps.

A missing persons case from 1997 has been solved thanks to Google Maps.

While looking at satellite imagery provided in the app, a Google user discovered an image of a car in a pond in Wellington, Florida. When the car was excavated, the skeletal remains of a person were found inside.

Back on Nov. 7, 1997, 40-year-old William Moldt of Florida was reported missing. Nearly 22 years ago, Moldt called his girlfriend to let her know he was on his way home from a nightclub. He was never seen or heard from again.

A screenshot of William Moldt's car submerged underwater taken by satellite imagery found within Google Maps.

A screenshot of William Moldt’s car submerged underwater taken by satellite imagery found within Google Maps.

Image: google maps / screenshot: mashable

Fast forward to Aug. 28, 2019. Barry Fay, a resident of a gated community known as Grand Isles in Wellington, received a call from his neighbor. The neighbor’s ex-husband had called her to say he noticed a car submerged in a pond behind Fay’s house while he was searching the area using Google’s satellite imagery. 

After confirming the sighting with the help of a drone, Fay says he called the former owner of his residence to see if she was aware of the vehicle. According to Fay, she was “shocked.”

Fay called the police.

“Upon arrival deputies confirmed there was a vehicle in the pond,” reads a statement from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department. “The vehicle’s exterior was heavily calcified and was obviously in the water for a significant amount of time. Upon removing the vehicle skeleton remains were found inside.”

You can view the satellite image yourself on Google Maps right here and see Moldt’s 1994 Saturn SL in the pond. Apparently, the car has been visible via Google’s satellite imagery since 2007, but hadn’t been noticed until now.

The body was confirmed to be that of William Moldt on Sept.10. 

When Moldt went missing more than two decades ago, the housing development was still under construction. Police seem doubtful that we’ll ever know how Moldt and his car ended up in that pond.

Google Maps recently rolled out the ability to see local bikeshare availability, how busy your public transportation ride will be, and even a tool that helps addicts find recovery resources

The app now also seems to have an unintended new feature: solving decades old missing persons cases.

Google Maps will be the built-in navigation tool for some GM vehicles

Move over Android Auto. In certain General Motors vehicles, the built-in infotainment system will now be Google-powered. That means Google Assistant will be the car’s native voice assistant, the Google Play store will offer in-vehicle apps and tools made for a driving experience, and most importantly, Google Maps will be the system’s default map.

Starting in 2021, certain Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles will have Google services baked into their infotainment systems for direction, media playing, and digital assistant tasks like using voice to call a friend or close a “smart” garage door.

Instead of having to sync your phone to the car to pull up Google Maps, the car navigation system will come with Google Maps directions, lookup for nearby gas and charging stations, and location information (like a restaurant’s hours) that you know and love from the Google Maps app.

Don’t worry, the GM cars will still be compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto if they were before. Your smartphone won’t feel neglected, and you can use Waze if you prefer that navigation tool.

What a GM with the Google Assistant car experience could look like

What a GM with the Google Assistant car experience could look like

Polestar, the Volvo all-electric brand, is the first car to build Google into the vehicle. GM is simply integrating some Google features into its dashboard, not overhauling the entire system to run on Google. 

For anyone frustrated with car company navigation systems who just wants Google Maps like you use on your phone, here you go.

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Google Maps finally lets you plan ‘mixed modes’ travel

Sometimes getting home is journey. 

If it takes a few transit methods to get from a party to your front door, Google Maps didn’t used to be much help. But, as announced Tuesday, the navigation app can now give transit directions that include different modes. 

“Mixed modes” will soon show up on the transit tab and will include ride-sharing and cycling options within the public transit directions. Instead of you having to manually piece together a trip, the app puts together different options for you.

You can get detailed information about ride-sharing, like the cost of either an Uber or Lyft and the different types of rides, like a carpool or SUV and how long it’ll take to get to you. The app will give info about the train or bus you’re catching and how much traffic to expect on the way. But you still have to book an Uber or Lyft in its respective app. 

Get there many different ways.

Get there many different ways.

Image: google maps

For cyclists, bike-friendly routes will appear for getting to the train station that way. 

The multi-modal planning tool is coming to the Google Maps app on Android devices and iOS phones and other devices in the coming weeks, in 30 countries to start. 

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