Google Maps updated to work with Camera, offer smart recommendations

Theresa Obrien
May 9, 2018

The company describes this as a way for Maps to become more "assistive and personal", making it easier to figure out what to do and where to go. Since launch, Google has mapped over 220 countries and territories and is helping more than 1 billion Maps users. The platform is getting some new features focused on highlighting places and activities Google's algorithms think you'll like, including a new "For you" tab that's an automatically-populated list of spots you might want to check out. The Google Maps team have even been experimenting with an animated guide character that you can follow, such as the animated fox shown briefly in the demo.

"You can also tell us about your food and drink preferences", she said, "so we'll know if you enjoy certain types of cuisines or restaurant types, like family friendly spots or places with live music".

If that wasn't enough, a new "For You" tab will let you know about all of the exciting culinary adventures taking place in your 'hood. Google has thought of this and has added in Group Planning tools. Once everyone has helped compile a list of places to visit, the entire group can then vote in real time to find everyones favourite place. Instead you'll get curated lists of what's good based on the area or neighborhood you're looking up. A user can see the names of places around them, as well as street names and directions, right in front of them. A small semisphere of map data appeared at the bottom of the interface, while the camera perspective included bold images of where to turn and go-and floating panels that show information about businesses in your direct view.

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Google is also utilising VPS to take visual cues such as landmarks and features seen by the camera to improve navigation.

Google gave its Maps app a big redesign today at I/O 2018 and introduced a suite of new features that will roll out to both iOS and Android users this summer.

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