Science & Technology

10 Google Maps tips to help you rediscover Surat (Gujarat)

From easily locating shops and restaurants to finding the quickest route to your destination, use these features to help you explore and navigate your city conveniently, efficiently, and safely

Surat : Google today showcased the latest features available in Google Maps that can help people get around more easily. Two-wheeler mode, Public Transport with real-time bus information, Plus codes, Maps Go, local languages on Maps, Exploring local places, real-time location sharing, Multi-stop directions, Real-time traffic (including traffic alerts) and Local Guides — all offerings that make getting around in Surat quicker and more conveniently.

Addressing the media in Surat, Anal Ghosh, Program Manager, Google Maps for India, said “Google Maps is not just about navigating from point A to B. We have been building for India, addressing the unique challenges and opportunities, with the sole aim of making Google Maps more comprehensive, accurate and reliable so you can efficiently explore and navigate their world. Google Maps can now help you plan your travel, explore your destination, keep you safe and make your travel experience more exciting and hassle free.”

Pro tip 1: Two-wheeler mode in Google Maps comes to India first

India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs. Two-wheeler mode in Maps shows trip routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars, buses and trucks. It also provides customized traffic and arrival time estimations. And since so many Indians rely on local landmarks for navigation, two-wheeler mode smartly includes major landmarks on the route so that riders can plan their trip before starting, and don’t have to keep checking their phone on the go.In just over 8 months, we have more than 2 crore users per month in India using the two-wheeler mode! And to improve the experience in Surat, we have specifically increased the road coverage on Maps by ~20%!

  • How do I get it? Say you want to visit Yoginagar Society from Udhna. Type “Yoginagar Society” from your starting point into Google Maps, tap the “Get Directions” button, and then select the “Two-wheeler mode” icon to view the route that will take to the destination in shortest time.

Pro-tip 2: Plan your public transport journey with real-time bus information on Maps 

Google Maps’ Transit feature provides details on trains, bus and metro routes. It shows schedules for roughly 12,000 Indian Railways trains, apart from updated public transport information for bus and metro routes.

Public transport can sometimes be erratic, and having access to information that lets you better plan your departure can be a big boon in easing the stress of commuting. In an effort to relieve people from public transport ambiguity, in July 2018, Google has announced its collaboration with the Surat Smart City Development Limited (SSCDL), to add real-time information about bus arrival times for Surat on Google Maps, making it easier for people to plan their trips. Surat is now one of the second city in India having real-time information of buses. Recently, during Google for India 2018 event we announced voice navigation feature in Public transit which now provides step-by-step voice instructions on your bus journeys informs you about upcoming stops and alerts you when to get off. 

  • How do I get it? Say you want to visit Jawaharlal Nehru Garden from your location in Surat. Type “Jawaharlal Nehru Garden” into Google Maps, tap on the “Get Directions” button, and then tap the Train icon to view the available options. You can also choose the time of the day you’d like to travel. Google Maps will then show you door-to-door directions to your destination making it easier to plan your trip. 

Pro tip 3: Navigate & Explore in local languages

The information in local languages on Google Maps helps millions of people, every day, to discover and share great places. Google Maps showcases all places on Maps in dual languages. Dual labelling is available in ten local languages including Hindi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Nepali. Based on your location, Google Maps automatically shows names of places in dual language labels. For instance, in Uttar Pradesh, you can see place names in English and Hindi.

With voice navigation, you’ll hear traffic alerts, where to turn, which lane to use, and if there’s a better route. Google has added voice navigation in seven Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. 

  • How did I get it? On your android phone open Google Maps app. Tap ‘Menu’ and go to ‘Settings’. In settings tap the ‘Navigation Settings’, choose ‘Voice Selection’ and the language.

Pro tip 4: See what the traffic is really like with Real-time Traffic

Being stuck in traffic can be bothersome. Not knowing how long you might be stuck is even worse. With the real-time Traffic feature, you can see current traffic conditions right from Google Maps and compare how long various routes will take. This feature includes all national highways and expressways in India and is available in 34 cities.

Google also provides traffic alerts on Google Maps. Google Maps can help you find the best route to your destination with the fewest delays. And with alerts in Google Maps, you’ll be notified of possible traffic jams as soon as you hit the road. Now when you input your destination, Google will give you a spoken alert for upcoming traffic conditions that helps you identify the quickest route. While you’re on the road, Google Maps will give you a heads up if there is a sudden congestion up ahead, and indicate how long a delay it is likely to cause. You’ll also get the option to take alternate routes, including explanations for why one is recommended—whether it’s the fastest or just one that avoids traffic.

You can also get directions faster by setting your home and work addresses. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app. Tap ‘Menu’ and go to ‘Your places’ Labeled. Choose ‘Home’ or ‘Work’ and enter the address.

  • How do I get it? Go to your settings menu and the turn on the Traffic layer. Once it’s done you’ll see routes mapped out in different colors, indicating the different speed of traffic on those roads. Green means there are no traffic delays on the road, orange indicates a medium amount of traffic and red means heavier traffic congestion.
  • You can also see the nearby traffic directly through the Google Maps home screen. Open Google Maps on your phone, select the ‘Driving’ icon at the bottom of the screen, and check ‘Traffic Nearby’.

Pro tip 5: Use Maps Go for a seamless experience on low-end Android phones! 

Google Maps Go is the lightweight Progressive Web App version of the original Google Maps app. Maps Go requires Google Chrome and doesn’t take any additional storage space on your phone. This is designed to run smoothly on Android devices with limited memory (<=1GM RAM), limited processor speeds (1-1.5 Ghz) and on unreliable networks without compromising speed to provide your location, real-time traffic updates, directions, and public transport information. The homescreen of Maps Go is customized for the needs of Indian users – shortcuts for different options, including different types of public transport. And recently, we launched turn-by-turn voice navigation on Maps Go with the same seamless experience as Google Maps. In addition, users can even search and find information about millions of places, including phone numbers, addresses, photos, ratings, reviews, etc.

Pro tip 6: Find and share places using Plus codes

In a country like India, addresses are unstructured and something many people take for granted. But without these simple descriptions of where you live, work or travel, there are still a large number of people who  cannot access critical services like mail, deliveries or even emergency services, . In an effort to address this challenge, we recently launched ‘Plus Codes’ which acts  like a  digital address for people or places that don’t have a physical one. Based on a a simple and consistent addressing system that works across India and globally, this code simply comprises a ‘6-character + City’ format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone — all that’s needed is Google Maps on a smartphone. The open source nature of Plus Codes means that applications that uses location services can easily incorporate it on their platforms for free. 

  • How do I get it? On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app. Touch and hold a place to drop a pin on Google Maps. At the bottom, tap the address or description. Scroll down to find the plus code, such as 4QP2+9F Surat.

Pro tip 7: Explore local places through collections and photos

You can now explore and share your experiences of places around you with Google Maps. To make it easier, Google Maps automatically creates collections of relevant categories, which you can easily access by tapping through. Explore establishments such as restaurants, hotels, pharmacies, grocery stores and more, and view their opening hours, ratings, reviews, photos, etc. You can even see the time of the day they are most busy, and call or visit the business’s website, right from their maps listing.

  • How do I get it? Open Google Maps on your phone and tap ‘Explore’ on home screen and select the different options including restaurants, cafes, gas stations, ATMs, pharmacies and groceries.

Pro Tip 8:  Share your local expertise

Nobody knows a place better than a local. If you’re an expert in your local area you can contribute reviews, photos or add missing places to Google Maps by becoming a Local Guide. Local Guides is a global community of explorers who write reviews, share photos, answer questions, add or edit places, and check facts on Google Maps. Millions of people rely on contributions like yours to decide where to go and what to do. Your contributions helps others get better Google Maps experiences. Now you can also share information regarding road closures, missing roads, videos and 360 degrees photos for making the Maps more practical and immersive. India ranks among the top three largest Local Guide communities globally.

As a Local Guide, you earn points for sharing reviews, photos, and knowledge on Google Maps. Those points lead to higher levels of the program, where you can avail benefits like early access to Google features and special perks from partners. At Level 4, you also unlock your first Local Guides badge, which helps your contributions to places get noticed. 

  • How do I sign up? You can sign-up directly from within the Google maps app and become a city expert on Google maps.
  • How do I get it? On your smartphone or tablet, open Google Maps. Tap ‘Menu’ and tap the ‘Your contributions’. Tap on your name and your points will appear in your profile. After you make a contribution, it may take up to 24 hours for your points to appear on your profile.

Pro tip 9: Let others know your location in real-time 

With new real-time location sharing feature you can share your real-time location with anyone you choose, and the people you share with will be able to view your location whether they are on on an Android device or iPhone.

The next time you’re on your way or are running late, share your real-time location and trip progress from navigation as well. During your next trip, tap the “More” button on the bottom on the navigation screen, and then tap “Share trip.” When you share your trip with people, they’ll see your expected arrival time and can follow your journey as you head towards your destination. Real-time location sharing in Google Maps gives you full control over who can view your location, as well as the duration for which they can view it. Sharing automatically ends when you arrive at your destination.

  • How do I do it? Tap “Share location” and then select who to share with and how long to share—and you’re done! You can share your real-time location with your Google contacts, or even share with friends and family by sending a link on your favorite messenger apps. When you’re sharing your location, the people you’ve chosen to share with will see you on their map. 

Pro-tip 10: Plan your road trips with Multi-stop directions, and Search Along Route for unplanned requirements 

Whether you are planning a route to pick up your friends from different locations, or looking to drive along and explore the different corners of the city, Google Maps can efficiently guide you using the multi-stop directions feature. You’ll have the same seamless driving experience you’re used to, and can add up to 10 waypoints on a single trip!

You can now stay on track while making stops for fuel, coffee, food or anything along your journey. For example, if you are driving and suddenly realize that you’re running low on fuel, you may be unsure about turning back to the last petrol station you saw, or heading to the next one. With the ability to Search along your route, making that decision is now just a few taps away.

  • How do I get to multiple directions? Open the app, enter a destination, tap the corner menu, then tap“Add stop”. To rearrange the order of your stops, tap and hold the three dot menu to the left of “Add stop” and drag it to the desired position – you can even search for types of places, such as petrol pumps, ATMs or restaurants, like you would normally search. Add as many stops as you like (a maximum of 10, remember!) and once you’re done, tap “Finished” to complete your multi-stop routing.
  • How do I search along a route? When in the navigation mode, pull up the bottom bar, and select “Search along route”. This will show the most popular options automatically – petrol pumps, restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops. Once you make your selection, Google Maps will show you how much time the stop will add to your over trip while keeping you on route to your final destination. 

About Google

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

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