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Old 28th December 2022, 05:02   #1
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Must-have features in Google Maps

Dear all, most of us rely extensively on Google maps for our intercity and intracity travel guidance. While my personal experience with Google maps has been largely great, there have been times when Google has wrongly guided me and I wish there was something I could do about it.

Hence this post is to list down features which I think Google should incorporate to improve its maps:

1. There should be an option to select only main roads for a proposed route. Many times, Google ends up suggesting the shortest route which ends up being narrow lanes or streets when the main road option seems equally good or achievable. Those with large cars will appreciate this feature.

2. There should also be an option where goole warns that the roads are narrow. This is an offshoot of the previous point - sometimes, the destination route requires us to travel through narrow lanes which are more suited to bikes rather than cars and it would be good for Google to warn us in advance so that we can decide on an alternative in advance.

3. There should be a mechanism to immediately mark / call out a bad route so that this mistake does not occur in the future for other travellers. For example, while travelling from Bangalore to Sringeri, Google suggested a short route from Belur to Jayapura - only halfway we discovered that the roads were basically broken and riddled with potholes for the entire 1 hr distance - if there was a way to inform Google then and there, maybe Google will not suggest this option to others as well.

4. There should be a better way to guide us when we need to get on to a flyover or avoid it. Currently, Google uses language such as "take the slip road" or "take a slight right", without actually telling us that there is an upcoming flyover and we need to either get on it or avoid taking it. This language is quite confusing and it would be helpful if Google can be more specific.

Would request others to also post their suggestions on how to improve Google Maps further.

Mods, I tried searching team bhp to see if this kind of thread already exists but couldn't find anything. Please merge this if something already exists.

Last edited by Aditya : 1st January 2023 at 05:15. Reason: Caoitalisation
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Old 28th December 2022, 07:12   #2
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by contentedbloke View Post

3. There should be a mechanism to immediately mark / call out a bad route so that this mistake does not occur in the future for other travellers. For example, while travelling from Bangalore to Sringeri, google suggested a short route from Belur to Jayapura - only half way we discovered that the roads were basically broken and riddled with potholes for.the entire 1 hr distance - if there was a way to inform google then and there, maybe google will not suggest this option to others as well.
There is.
Quote:
If we need to add or edit road information in Google Maps, you can let us know.
https://support.google.com/maps/answ...DAndroid&oco=1


Quote:
4. There should be a better way to guide us when we need to get on to a flyover or avoid it. Currently google uses language such as "take the slip road" or "take a slight right", without actually telling us that there is an upcoming flyover and we need to either get on it, or avoid taking it. This language is quite confusing and it would be helpful if google can be more specific.
+1
Absolutely agree. The current style of conveying this information is a bit confusing. Definitely scope for improvement.
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Old 28th December 2022, 07:37   #3
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by contentedbloke View Post
3. There should be a mechanism to immediately mark / call out a bad route so that this mistake does not occur in the future for other travellers. For example, while travelling from Bangalore to Sringeri, google suggested a short route from Belur to Jayapura - only half way we discovered that the roads were basically broken and riddled with potholes for.the entire 1 hr distance - if there was a way to inform google then and there, maybe google will not suggest this option to others as well.
There is a way but right now it's too hard and as far as I know you need to come out of navigation to do this. What I prefer is a way you can mark a certain stretch of a road during navigation and go ahead and at the end of the trip (assuming you reached your destination) give other particulars required and finish the post detailing what was wrong.

Today it's just too hard to edit a mistake.
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Old 28th December 2022, 07:47   #4
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

How do you refresh the distance and time to destination in Google maps? For e.g. you find the time from "Your Location" to destination; then if your already familiar with the route or you are on a long stretch of highway, you generally will not switch on navigation, right? But as you keep moving, the distance and time to destination does not get refreshed at all. I end up switching the From and To twice to refresh the data.

Is there a missing Refresh feature or am I not using it right? There is no problem if I use navigation.
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Old 28th December 2022, 08:03   #5
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Point#4: Can totally relate to that. Have faced this issue multiple times when on a flyover or a round about with multiple roads. Its very difficult to keep eyes on the road and see the map at times for reference when crossing such stretch. A zoom option and some definitive marking of direction would surely help.

Is there any mechanism of adding multiple stops in a route on the mobile app? Strangely I could not find it.
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Old 28th December 2022, 08:15   #6
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Is there any mechanism of adding multiple stops in a route on the mobile app? Strangely I could not find it.
There is. After you enter your start and end points, you basically click on the 3 dots (options) and select add stop. The new stop comes at last but you can then drag and rearrange the order of stops holding the letters (a, b, c, d etc) indicating each stop.
Attached Thumbnails
Must-have features in Google Maps-screenshot_20221228_081315_maps.jpg  


Last edited by deep_bang : 28th December 2022 at 08:16.
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Old 28th December 2022, 08:54   #7
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by contentedbloke View Post
2. There should also be an option where google warns is that the roads are narrow. This is an offshoot of the previous point - sometimes, the destination route requires us to travel through narrow lanes which are more suited to bikes rather than cars and it would be good for google to warn us in advance so that we can decide on an alternative in advance.
Have been through this situation. We were on a team building trip by a Bus to one resort in pune. As usual we requested the best route on google maps and started following it. Only to realize that the road was going through narrow street at couple of locations where only single car can pass. It stuck upon us that google was suggesting the route which was for cars and we were travelling in a bus. Had to take a U-turn and closed the google maps for further directions. Took the normal highway and reached destination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
Thanks for sharing RedTerrano.

One feature I find missing on google maps in mobile is an option to drag the blue line of the proposed route and place it on other road, this feature is available on desktop. I always prefer to take route which has no bottlenecks even if it takes me 10/15 minutes more to reach a destination.
Google maps many times doesnít show alternate route even if it is few minutes more then the proposed route.
Is any Bhpian aware of this feature on google maps in mobile.

Proposed route by Google maps on desktop:-
Must-have features in Google Maps-powai-mumbai.jpg

Manually modified route on Google maps on desktop.
Must-have features in Google Maps-modified-route-dragging..jpg
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Old 28th December 2022, 10:01   #8
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

One option I would love (at least on iOS, maybe it's already there on Android) is to download offline maps for a specific route instead of picking all the squares manually and downloading them.

Re. OP's points 1, 2 qnd 3, there already is. The problem happens because all two-wheller people merely select destination and go. If they took a second more to select "Bike" as their mode of transport and then drive it would help car people.

Alternatively this will never happen) Google should keep Bike as the default mode of transport and car-people should manually select car.

Cheers
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Old 28th December 2022, 10:25   #9
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

All the points mentioned in the previously mentioned posts are acceptable. On the other hand please note:

1. Google maps is free and we must appreciate whatever google is giving us.
2. Our country has still not given us Indian based maps even in 2022 and we are still relying on a foreign company. (Map my India is private).
3. It’s very difficult for Google to update their maps continuously in a developing country like India where new roads are built by the hour. About 30 - 40 kms of National highways are built per day. A typical example is the Samruddhi expressway. It was opened and Google took some time to update the maps.
4. Because of this technology, the present generation has lost the sense of direction and cannot actually read physical or paper maps because we totally rely on what the software says and blindly follow it.
5. Google maps has one of the best features like offline maps where you can download particular maps and navigate using your phones GPS only without internet. Very useful in areas where you don’t have internet.
6. Many Gmaps users blame the software but do not do some research before venturing in to a new place. Satellite mode is one way to check and plan your route and follow as per your wish.

Let me explain by an example:
You want to go from Himmatnagar to Ajmer on NH48 (old NH8), then you have to go through Udaipur. Google will take the shortest route and route you through the city which can be crowded and take more time. The alternate is the route marked on the right.

Must-have features in Google Maps-cd1fee649bdc45e9af91d162c92ac72f.jpeg


You can use ‘Add stop’ feature and just randomly select a spot on your route and then drive or physically pin a spot on the map.

Must-have features in Google Maps-8447241dc8904f9e93c369941042381e.png

Above is just an example and most people are aware of this.

Concluding this, there are still some Social media forums who abuse Gmaps sarcastically, even though they still use the base of Gmaps for their own so called maps and some of the members still drive Amrikan cars.

Above all let’s appreciate what we are getting for free and which has actually become part of our lives like some other apps eg. WhatsApp.
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Old 28th December 2022, 10:30   #10
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by SILVER-ARROW View Post
One feature I find missing on google maps in mobile is an option to drag the blue line of the proposed route and place it on other road, this feature is available on desktop. I always prefer to take route which has no bottlenecks even if it takes me 10/15 minutes more to reach a destination.
Google maps many times doesnít show alternate route even if it is few minutes more then the proposed route.
If you touch the grey route on the mobile it will select that route. Have been using that for ages, am I missing something?
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Old 28th December 2022, 10:42   #11
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by contentedbloke View Post
...
1. There should be an option to select only main roads for a proposed route. Many times, google ends up suggesting the shortest route which ends up being narrow lanes or streets when the main road option seems equally good or achievable. Those with large cars will appreciate this feature.
...
Although they don't offer much in terms of user input on this regard, Google seems to know how to distinguish wide roads from narrow ones. See the below two screenshots; first is for bikes where Google suggests taking a narrow market road. The second one which is for cars does not even offer this suggestion - Google wants you to take the wider road which is some 30-40 meters ahead.
Must-have features in Google Maps-screenshot_20221228083933.jpg

Must-have features in Google Maps-screenshot_20221228083857.jpg

The market road stretch in question is just 20-30 meters long at most and might accommodate a car when the market is not operational. My assumption is that Google's algorithms consider any advantage gained by a car driver who takes this short cut is minimal and hence ignores it. But unlike here when the distances are longer and a certain advantage can be gained in terms of distance covered or time travelled, it tends to suggest the narrower route as the preferred option.

I have myself got into trouble following Google's directions that took me into some narrow lanes and would really like Google to take some user input as you suggested.
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Old 28th December 2022, 10:49   #12
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseud View Post
If you touch the grey route on the mobile it will select that route.
+1

Also, if I am not mistaken, if GMaps becomes aware of bottlenecks, it will suggest an alternative route at runtime, in navigation mode.
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Old 28th December 2022, 10:55   #13
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
+1

Also, if I am not mistaken, if GMaps becomes aware of bottlenecks, it will suggest an alternative route at runtime, in navigation mode.
Thats true. However, on my way back from Mahabalipuram to Bangalore, it first suggested a better route which was an hour shorter and I was really happy. While the road was a two lane road it was quite nice. Suddenly, in around 30 mins it suggested a better route and again made me go back to the older route which was an hour longer. Had to switch to a different phone and it gave the shorter route.

Never faced this before of a better route being slower. But I realised it would be good to know why is the new route better - faster/better roads...
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Old 28th December 2022, 11:11   #14
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseud View Post
If you touch the grey route on the mobile it will select that route. Have been using that for ages, am I missing something?
Agree with you. Google maps does propose alternate routes in addition to the fastest route( Preferred route is in blue and Alternate routes are in grey). However some times google doesnít show alternate route even tough the alternate route will take no more than 10 minutes more than the preferred Route.
On desktop you are able to drag the route to the road which we want to select and then Google maps shows the time estimate accordingly. Unable to locate this feature on Google maps on iPhone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruzbehxyz View Post
Above all letís appreciate what we are getting for free and which has actually become part of our lives like some other apps eg. WhatsApp.
Yes Buddy. Indeed Google maps has made life so much convenient for people who like to take their vehicle on new unexplored places. Before advent of google maps, people used to seldom undertake such journeys and if taken it used to take rigorous amount of planning by enquiring about the routes to those destinations.
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Old 28th December 2022, 11:40   #15
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re: Must-have features in Google Maps

I use Google Maps for two things:

1. For navigation.
2. To familiarise myself with the places I'm reading about (most recent was the description in a book of the drive from Miami to Key West via the Overseas Highway; it was fascinating).

Navigation use is almost entirely via Android Auto. And in this Google fails in a lot of areas (several failures are intentional I think). All of these fall under the broad heading of "Hey Google, I know this route better than you; you have to only watch the traffic condition". So:

1. If I deviate from your selected route, respect my choice and reroute me. Don't try to find newer and innovative ways of pulling me back to your original chosen route.

2. If you find a "faster route" just inform me and when I ignore you, sulk - but don't automatically reroute.

3. Give me an option to pin my drive via a route - which is a directive to you to stay on that route and not even look if alternatives exist.

4. Inform me well in advance of congestion, and not after you've made sure I've passed past all possible alternatives.

5. I have disabled "Avoid tolls" for a reason. You don't have to show me toll avoidance dirt roads each of which would add 1h+ to my journey time and pollute my screen.

And my biggest problem now - please bring back the option to disable Labels (which would remove POIs, yellow/white road indicators and a bunch of other stuff from satellite view).
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