Google Maps Changes Will Include Disaster Warnings and Include Speed Option

News Google Maps Disaster Warnings Featured

Google set the pace for navigation apps and is used by not only Android users by many iOS users as well. They continue to make changes to provide more than just the basic navigational and map support.

The latest announced change revolves around natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. The company announced that an upcoming Google Maps update will lead users away from natural disasters, and users have also noticed that the app now includes an option to show your speed while you’re driving.

Natural Disaster Navigation Added to Google Maps

When a natural disaster hits, you need all the help you can get. Your mind is focused on being safe and keeping your loved ones safe. But there are so many different factors to consider. Google will now help you get to safety by navigating you away from the danger.

Google announced in a blog post an expansion of SOS alerts to include disaster notifications. Visual information will be provided in Google Maps with a new navigation warning to help drivers travel to safety

Google Maps already includes SOS alerts that give the user a summary of what’s happening around them. This includes news stories of an incident as it’s happening, emergency phone numbers and websites, and relevant updates from local authorities.

The new Google Maps update will add detailed visualizations to the disaster information during hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods.

In the days before a hurricane is due to land, a crisis notification card will appear for those in the expected areas of impact. This card will link to a hurricane forecast cone that will show the current predictions of trajectory and the times it’s expected at various locations.

The earthquake card will show the shakemap, meaning the epicenter and magnitude, with the visualization being color-coded to show what to expect from the shaking in different areas.

The crisis notification card for floods will include forecasts of where it will likely hit and the severity that can be expected in impacted areas. For right now, however, this feature will only be available in India.

This update is expected to roll out later this summer with plans for the notifications to appear when a user’s route is affected by a natural disaster. It’s expected that along with the crisis notification card, that the navigation will lead users away from danger.

Google Maps Speedometer

In addition to this announced change, Google Maps users also noticed another new feature that was not announced and has just appeared. There is now an option to show a speedometer in the app while you’re driving.

The speedometer option can be turned on in preferences in the Navigation Settings and is connected to the recent rollout of speed cameras and speed limits, a feature that brings Google Maps closer to Waze, that is now owned by Google as well.

There are plenty of choices out there for navigation apps, though Google Maps is definitely one of the most-used. Will these current and upcoming changes lead you to either switch to Google Maps or continue to use it? Let us know what you think of disaster notifications and a speedometer being added in the comments below.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. “Google Maps Changes Will Include Disaster Warnings”
    Of course, the warnings need to be read and heeded.
    Recently USA Today published an article titled {Tornado Warnings Spark Backlash”. It seems some folks object strongly to having their TV shows interrupted, even for tornado warnings. A quote from the article:
    “A rash of tornadoes cut a path of destruction from eastern Indiana through central Ohio on Monday, leaving thousands without power and doing much of their damage around Dayton, Ohio.

    But as the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, many area residents were more concerned with the developments in “The Bachelorette” reality show and lashed out via social media when Dayton TV station, Fox45, cut away to to a weather update.”
    Another quote:
    “At the same time Tiger Woods was making his thrilling charge to victory on the final day of last month’s Masters golf tournament, dangerous storms pounded parts of the Southeast, and the CBS affiliate in Atlanta interrupted the broadcast for a weather update. Meteorologist Ella Dorsey said she received death threats as a result.”

    “Google Maps Speedometer
    There is now an option to show a speedometer in the app while you’re driving.”
    What’s wrong with the using the speedometer built into the dashboard of the car!!! Or because it is from Google, their speedometer reading is more believable?! “Your radar gun must be wrong, officer. Google said I was only doing 50!”

    Unless Google Speedometer is displayed right in front of the driver, it will be a distraction.

  2. Do U have an option that allows maps without all the other garbage about about places I may have been interested in? I cannot seem to find an icon that lets me opt out of all the new razzle dazzle that is totally useless. Is there a way to just get back the previous app or should I get a different map app ?

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