Even though applications like Google Maps are used by millions of people every month, most don’t stray from the basics. Most applications have features that make them unique. To unleash the real power, these features need to be used.
Below are 5 ways to get more out of Google Maps.
1. Real Estate
If you are in the market to buy a house, perhaps out of your local area, this is a good place to start. Do a search for the area you are looking for and click the More tab. There will be a Real Estate option to check. What will be displayed, is all of the possible options for the area.
Using the options in the left sidebar, you can guide your search to help narrow the results.
Additionally you can search for schools, shopping, map out how far your commute will be, etc. This can help eliminate some of the driving around looking for schools or the nearest grocery store.
2. What’s here?
There are times when you are looking at a map and wonder “What the heck is that?” You can find out by right clicking over an area and selecting What’s Here?
It may not give you a lot of detail, but what is displayed is the most relevant info available to that spot. You may get a latitude and longitude, a street address, park, body of water or whatever is available.
3. Layered searches
Search for multiple things on the same map. When you search for an stadium, for example. you can also search for hotels, restaurants. gas stations or anything else you may need near the event.
All you need to do is search for the stadium first, then gas station second. A blue bar will appear at the very bottom left of the screen. If you click on the blue bar, you will see check boxes next to color coded results. The result can be checked and unchecked, turning on and off one of the searches.
4. Best local search
Whether you are new to an area or just need something, Google Maps is a great spot to find local businesses. If you search for Coffee Shop in Anchorage Alaska, you will get all of the local cafes.
You can narrow it down to a streat by typing near a street or landmark. This will give you a better idea what is in the area.
Next you can zoom in and see what the building looks like, read reviews, or clock More… to see what people are saying on Google Buzz and other info.
5. Google Places
If you have a business or service, Google Places will get you listed on Google Maps for free. All you need to do is fill out some info, and viola! you are on the map.
If you are using Google Adwords to advertise online, you can piggyback on that information. If not, you will need to fill out some basic stuff like hours of operation, a description, address, website, etc. You also can add a few keywords to your listing to help people find you.
6. User created maps
Who knows the area better than people who have been there? User created maps are people just like you who have saved a route from point A to point B. To see what others have saved, click on the search options tab then search for a destination like normal.
Some of the maps are trips and some show points of interest. If you are planning a trip somewhere, you may want to give this type of search a try to see where others have gone.
At the end of the day, you may not use all of these features every time you search Google Maps. However, if you need a more advanced search, you now know there is more here than just directions.
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