Google Map Maker Shutdown on March 31st

Google Maps Parking Information

With the bulk of the editing feature of Google Map Maker now in Google Maps, the company quietly shut down Map Maker last week, on March 31st.  The help page for Map Maker now indicates that the service is no longer available.  The news isn’t entirely a surprise.  Map Maker had been around since 2008 and gave users the ability to add places to Google Maps, edit places and edit road segments amongst other things.  All of those features are in Google Maps now so it somewhat made Map Maker redundant.

On the help page, Google points out that they will continue to brings more features to Google Maps from Map Maker.

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Google Maps Location Sharing Rolls Out to The Masses

Google Maps Location Sharing

After being announced last week followed by a limited roll out, the new location sharing feature of Google Maps has rolled out to the masses.  Users can expect the feature to be enabled in the Google Maps app shortly if it isn’t there already.  You will find the new feature located on the menu of the app.

The feature works cross platform (and on the web) and allows you to share your location or your status on a journey with others that you choose.  That sharing can be limited to a specific time period for sharing while the sharing of your journey will automatically end when you arrive at your destination.  It is more-or-less a return of the old Latitudes product but is more refined.

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Google Shuttering Location Sharing in Google+

Google+ Location Sharing Shutdown

A few weeks ago, Google announced that they would be rolling out location sharing in Google Maps.  The new feature will allow you to share your location with friends and family for a set period of time and it will work across Android and iOS devices.  As a part of that effort, it appears the company is starting to shut down location sharing within Google+.

Google+ has had the ability to share your location for a long while but if you attempt to use it now, you are greeted with a splash page indicating that the feature is moving to Maps.  The tricky bit is that it hasn’t fully rolled out to Google Maps yet either.

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Google Maps Enabling Trip and Real Time Location Sharing

Google Maps Parking Information

Google Maps is in the process or rolling out a location sharing feature that you may actually want to use.  Location Sharing is something that has been a bit spotty for both Android and iOS with Apple probably having it figured out best with Find My Friends.  But, as is usually the case with Apple, it is only for fellow iOS users.  That is why this new feature in Google Maps is so exciting.  It works cross platform between Android and iOS.

In a nutshell, here is how it works.  When the feature rolls out to you, there will be a Share Location feature in the menu.  Tap it then select the contacts you want to see your location in real time.  You can set it up to share your location in real time for a set amount of time or until you turn the feature off.  Once you start sharing, your selected contacts will get a notification on their phone and when they open up Google Maps, they will be able to see where you are in real time.

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Google Maps Update Brings Real Time Commute Information

Google Maps Parking Information

A new update to Google Maps for Android is rolling out and with it comes a much improved places near you tab and real time commute information.  All of this information can be found by swiping up in Google Maps which will now display a three-tab page.  The first tab is Places which has been in Maps for a while now.  This gives you local places such as places to eat, have a drink, ATMs and fuel stations that are near you.  The Places tab not only serves as a great place to discover something new but also gives you places that you have been before so you can revisit them.  Functionally, you won’t find much difference in this release over what is there now.  It has just been cleaned up a bit and put into this more contemporary navigation tab model.

The new driving tab is designed to give you real time ETAs to home and work.  It also gives you nearby traffic conditions and expected delays.  Equally, if you want real time traffic information but don’t need turn-by-turn navigation, you can tap the Start Driving button and go directly into Driving Mode in Google Maps.  For this feature to work, you need to have stored your home and work address with your Google account.  You can actually set those up within Maps under Settings>Your Places.

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Google Maps Debuts Parking Difficulty Information

Google Maps Parking Information

Google Maps has rolled out a new feature that gives you an idea of how difficult parking will be once you get to your destination.  The new feature is a behind-the-scenes update so if you have the latest build of the Maps apps installed, the new feature will appear in the metro areas in which it is enabled.

Factoring in time for parking can make or break a night out, let alone making it to that big meeting on time. So in 25 metro areas throughout the U.S., we’ve introduced a new parking difficulty icon in Google Maps for Android that’ll give you a heads up on what kind of parking crunch to prepare for when you’re on the go.

This should make sure that you are on time to that dinner reservation or meeting as it builds in some time for you to go park your vehicle.

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Book Your Ride Share Service Right Within Google Maps

Ride Share Booking in Google Maps

Google Maps has a big update rolling out that brings a nicely integrated car sharing booking element to it.  The ability to see ride share services like Uber and Lyft has been in Maps for a while now but if you wanted to actually book an Uber, you had to go to the Uber app to do it.  No more.  Now you can link your Uber account to Google Maps and can book your ride right from within the app.  Further, you can see the location of your driver within the app and you don’t even have to have the Uber app installed on your phone for all this to work.

What you do need however is the latest build of Google Maps.  That is version 9.43.2 for those keeping score at home and it is currently rolling out to the Play Store.

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