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Learn helpful tricks and tips to better utilize Google Maps

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Learn helpful tricks and tips to better utilize Google Maps
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I grew up in New Jersey, right next to a state park. I still remember riding my bike all day like it was yesterday. Oh, and the time I threw a snowball at a police car and hit the cop inside. That was bad.

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I hadn’t looked at the house in years, so seeing it on a map took me back. While you’re at it, take yourself on a walk down memory lane, too.

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Blast from the past

There’s something special about seeing what the house you spent your childhood in looks like now — or you can flash back for as long as Google has been collecting pictures in that area.

Google Street View car taking photos for Google Maps

  • Open the Google Maps app and search for a place.
  • At the bottom, tap the place name or address.
  • Scroll and select the photo labeled Street View or select the thumbnail with a Street View icon.
  • While viewing a location in Street View, tap anywhere on the image, then tap See more dates.

💡 I have an idea. While you’re looking at your old house, write down three memories in the Notes app on your phone. Next time you’re with the kids, show them the house and tell them a few stories. So fun!

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Plan ahead and save on gas

The longer you spend in traffic, the more gas you’ll burn. Google Maps helps you plan a future trip, taking in predicted traffic, routes, and road conditions along the way. 

Here’s how to set a planned time and date for a trip:

A woman reads a map while stopped on the side of the road

  • Open the Google Maps app and tap on the Search here field.
  • Enter a destination and select it from the results.
  • Tap Directions and then the three dots button to the right of the Your location field.
  • Tap Set depart or arrive time.
  • Select Depart at and enter a date and time, then tap Done.
  • You’ll get various route options and details such as time and distance.
  • Select a route and tap Start.

Step inside buildings

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With Google Maps, you can virtually visit the inside of places such as stores, airports, or hotels. It’s fun to check out photos of places uploaded by other people, too.

  • Open the Google Maps app, tap the Search box.
  • Enter a place’s name or an address. Then, at the bottom, tap the place name or address.
  • Scroll until you see photos and tap on a 360 photo. To see more photos of this location, tap Photos.

You might see a Directory option showing floor plans and restaurant and store lists. The numbers at the bottom of the screen allow you to move from floor to floor. The blue dot icon shows you where you are located in the building.

Bonus: Ahoy, matey

Maps in Google

Let’s go from close to home to far away. Google Earth has captured images of thousands of shipwrecks over the decades. To snoop around, open Google Earth and search for the specific coordinates below:

50°23’42.35″N 125°57’25.64″W

64°10’34.46″N 51°43’20.85″W

40°33’24.59″N 74°13’6.22″W

Some people find this so fascinating, they’ve created giant interactive maps. Check out one of the largest here. Super cool, right?

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