As the connected world of technology becomes more and more ingrained in your life, companies do their best to be there with you every step of the way. One of the largest companies doing so is Google. Google has created one of the largest ecosystems in an attempt to achieve that goal. This is my third blog covering this ecosystem as an attempt to help you navigate and utilize the powerful, free tools that Google has to offer. The latest featured tool: Google Maps.
Google Maps started as just a web-based tool, which was amazing at the time it launched, but with mobile technology really changing the way things can be done, the real power of Google Maps was unlocked. Open the app on your smartphone and just type in a destination. It’s that simple. If it’s a business, you can choose to call the business or get directions. When you choose directions you have the options of driving, public transportation, biking, or walking.
Something that really takes Maps to the next level is Street View. As you zoom into a map you will all of a sudden get a visual of that street, as if you were standing there. You can get a 360-degree look and even go for a stroll around the block without ever leaving your screen.
On mobile devices, Google Maps had always been limited to having an internet connection. This has changed recently with the ability to save maps offline. The GPS on phones and tablets works fine without internet access, and saving a map offline keeps this valuable tool going when you might need it most.
Google Maps is always being updated. Not only are they gathering more information for Street View all the time, but they are even using airplanes to make 3D images so even the overhead view is more realistic (check out San Francisco). To stay up on the most recent updates about Google Maps, check out their Twitter feed at @googlemaps or add +GoogleMaps to a circle on Google+.