Google has introduced a new Live View feature into Google Maps. As announced in a company blog post, the new feature is designed to better give users bearings when using the app.
This all comes after what has already been a busy few weeks for Google Maps. Most recently the app finally introduced a dark mode that could be used.
Prior to this, Google Maps also introduced local Covid-19 statistics. This took the form of layers so users could see the relative infection rate in local areas.
This looks to be a more large scale innovation for the app given the noise Google has made about it. Google has said that this feature will make "it even easier to orient yourself in the world".
Google introduces Live View for Google Maps
The introduction of Live View for Google Maps brings several new innovations. The main premise behind it is the introduction of Augmented Reality (AR) to places markers on top of your world. The idea is to help users know which way the should head more quickly.
Currently, users can use the Live View button to visualize your destination in the real world. Now Google has looked to add nearby landmarks so you can orient yourself with where you are going.
Live view will show you how far you are from certain landmarks. It will also tell you what direction you need to go to get there.
Google brings Live View to more places
Google has also made it easier to access Live View from places such as from the transit tab in the app. Now if you are using transit directions and you have a walking portion of your journey you can utilise Live View.
This will allow you to access the feature when you transition from public transport to walking on a journey. Google says it will be particularly useful to tell you which direction to go when you exit a transit station.
As shown in the image it shows you the way you should go whilst walking on a journey. It also shows how this can be accessed from the transit direction portion of Google Maps.
Accurate pins and live location sharing coming soon
Other important elements to Live View is the introduction of more accurate pins in Maps. Google claims it has made an improvement to its global localization. This has improved their understanding of the world topography to create more accurate pins.
Google can now take into account the elevation of a place when placing a pin in maps. As the images show, previously that would have been an issue.
Google also has plans to introduces live location sharing through Live View. This feature first launched for Pixel users but plans are for to expand to all Android and iOS users.
This should help friends to meet up and better locate each other when meeting in cities and towns.
Users can expect all the features mentioned to roll out over the coming weeks including live location sharing and Live View in the transit tab.
Landmarks currently only has use in around 25 cities around the world right now and will also roll out in hte coming weeks. You can likely expect this to improve over time though.