Google is infusing its Maps app with further AI technology, which lends more power to the search function and provides incredibly immersive previews of routes.
The new tools are arguably headlined by the visually stunning rollout of the Immersive View for routes previews announced earlier this year at Google I/O, which is now rolling out.
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However, the most useful might be the way you can now search in Maps in the way you’d search in, well, Search. From this week, the new AI-powered tools allow users to get more specific about what they would like to see or do without actually knowing where to do it.
So, if you want to search for a pumpkin patch you can visit with your dog, or looking for specific latte art, Maps will show photos from the community within the map view that can help to you find what you’re looking for.
“These results are based on the analysis of billions of photos shared by the Google Maps community — all done with AI and advanced image recognition models. With this visual list of places, you can discover new spots that match exactly what you’re looking for,” Google says in a blog post.
Google says there are also tools for “starting from scratch” when you don’t necessarily know what you want to do. The new Thematic results will display ideas for activities and dining when you search for things to do.
Elsewhere, Google is adding more detail to navigation, including updated colours and buildings to better orient yourself in urban environments and improved land information.
We’re really looking forward to using those Immersive Routes though, which are rolling out in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Florence, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tokyo and Venice on Android and iOS.
Google adds: “Say you want to bike along the water to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Just request cycling directions, then tap the Immersive View preview to see your route in a stunning, multidimensional view from start to finish. You can prepare for each turn as if you were there with detailed, visual turn-by-turn directions, and use the time slider to plan when to head out based on helpful information, like simulated traffic and weather conditions. That way, you can easily avoid riding during rainy weather or heavy traffic.”