Google has been working on five new features since May of last year. Some of you may have started to see a couple of slight changes to Google Maps here and there, as they test upcoming changes on users.
We will finally begin to see the finished changes to Maps within the next few weeks, as Google roll out these changes officially.
Here are some of the things that you can expect to see…
1) Related Results
Within the map view, we will soon be seeing information on nearby places of similar interest.
So, as you are checking out a coffee shop in London, you will see other coffee shops and similar businesses that Google thinks you would want to see as well.
This feature will be great for people looking to plan out their days in unfamiliar territory, opening up new opportunities for both users to explore, and for little businesses to acquire more online exposure.
2) Plan Your Trips
The new Google Maps takes it even further than this, giving users a fantastic way of planning their day out as they see fit.
If you were looking to visit a city and you had never been there before, you will actually be able to plan your entire day out in advance through Maps.
Let’s say you were visiting San Diego and you wanted to check out certain shops, eat at a specific restaurant, go to a club and then finish the day off by staying at a great hotel, you can map out the entire route beforehand.
All you have to do to get started is to use Google Maps as you normally would to begin your journey at the shops in San Diego.
From there, click on the + sign underneath the search bar and then you can add the next shop or restaurant on as the next destination.
You can keep adding on additional destinations, and Google will help you map out the ideal path for you to explore the area, as you navigate your way through locations that interest you.
It’s easy to make changes as you go along, and if you change your mind you only need to drag and drop the locations around and you can change up the route as you see fit.
A completely new feature to come is real-time traffic. After entering your current location and destination, it will tell you how long your walk, cycle or drive will take.
It even takes into account the current traffic patterns, giving you a realistic estimate for how long you can expect your journey to take.
4) Review Information
Whenever you click on a location in Maps, you will also see reviews and cost indicators immediately. You can then compare that location with all of the related results that show, allowing you to see which received higher review stars on average.
This will be great for users to quickly identify locations that have received good feedback in the past, and then compare that to related searches without having to click anywhere else.
5) Rich Media
Finally, Google Maps will also be featuring rich media, allowing you to visually experience the places that you plan on visiting before you even go there.
This great change, including 3D views and an image carousel at the very bottom of the screen, will gives us all an amazing way to check out a range of images for each business before actually visiting it.
So, hopefully you are looking forward to all of these changes as much as we are. One thing is clear, the stronger your presence on Google+ is, the more exposure you will get as the chance of your business appearing in related mentions will increase.