May 9: Google on May 9 declared the launch of the latest version of Google Maps. The updated version will be launched later this year. New features have been added to the Maps while the old ones for getting directions will remain the same. The updates are based on the opinions made by users.
The Google Maps Team is said to have asked users a slew of questions, including how the company can help the users and what else does the users want from Google maps to do. Most of the users wanted Google Maps to help the decide where to go. Thus the company looked into the situation and analyzed what is to be done to help people.
Google Maps currently is renowned for guiding people, taking them where they want to go. Google had added various features to this, most of which are least used by the consumers. Google has not yet disclosed the number of users who are making use of the exploration tools offered Google Maps. There is news that the updated version looks to take the users beyond directions when using Maps. The new maps will be all about personalization with AI.
A new tab named ‘For you’ which gives a news feed like experience giving you suggestions will be featured in the upgrade of Google Maps. To give the users a social networking experience a ‘follow’ option is also enabled in the upcoming version of Google Maps. Using this option, users will be able to follow places and neighborhoods. It will also notify you with updates such as the latest coffee shops and restaurants near you.
Going by reports quoting Sophia Lin, Senior Product manager, Google Maps Team, people had problems to find out what’s new. People often miss out newly opened shops and others firms. To overcome this situation the company analyzed if they can understand the latest trending places through anonymized population dynamics.
The upcoming version of Google Maps will also have algorithmically designed ‘Food List’ and ‘Trending this week’ list which will show the users what is new and which is the most hanged out places. The Food List is based on the anonymized cohort analysis that looks at where people who often go out gather while the ‘Trending’ list looks at the overall population.
In the ‘For you’ feed, Google Maps will analyze articles about local news to check what is trending. According to Sophia Lin, the volume of information available in the news feed is not important but whether it can give the right information at the right time to the right person does. Apart from the ‘for you’ feed there are also various other AI powered basic exploration features. ‘Your match’ will present you the score that shows the restaurants which match your preferences.
Another new feature in the update will be group planning using which one can create a list of suggestions for a group outing by a long press on a place listing. A chat head like bubble will pop up which will follow you around as you browse around places. The compiled list can be shared among friends and can be voted.
The updated version of the Google Maps will be launched by the end of this summer. The update will be available for both iOS and Android. As per the reports the features will come only to the application and not on web.