7 Little-Known Google Maps Features

Move the cursor over Class control panel (bottom right), then click Ride bicycle. The map will then adjust how cycling routes are marked, with different types of markings for trails, bike lanes, bike paths, and unpaved trails.

Add your own location

There are some places that might be private to you—picnic areas, common parking lots, park benches, friends’ houses—that aren’t marked publicly on Google Maps. If they’re not marked, they’ll be harder to find when searching or navigating.

You can fix this by creating your own place: Tap and hold a location in the mobile app to drop a pin, then drag the info card up and select Add label. These labels will then appear in search results as flags on the map and in places you’ve saved.

Remember where you parked

Android Maps Screenshot

Never lose your parking space again.

Courtesy of David Nield

No need to waste time looking for your car after a long day. Google Maps can remember it for you. Once you’ve parked, tap the blue dot on the map in the mobile app, then select Save parking from the pop-up panel.

When it’s time to head back, just search for “parked” in the app to see the label you created. You can also pan around the map to find the “you parked here” flag—tap it and you can get directions to the right spot.

Road accident report

Help other Google Maps users by reporting accidents you encounter on your travels: If you’re in navigation mode in the mobile app, tap the icon on the right (the plus icon inside the search bubble), then select one of the options listed.

These options actually vary by country, but you should check out Accident is one of them. (Road construction, congestion, and vehicle breakdowns are also sometimes listed.) If Google Maps receives enough of these individual reports, an alert will appear on the map for everyone.

Answer questions about location

Android Screenshots

Ask questions to help other Google Maps users.

Courtesy of David Nield

The social and community aspects of Google Maps tend to get overlooked, but you can find them through Contribute tab in the mobile app. Tap Donate Now and you can answer some simple yes or no questions about places you’ve recently visited.

The map will ask you about the location’s opening hours, whether it has valet parking, handicap access, etc. Remember that one day you may be grateful that someone else contributed like this, as they helped you on your own trip.


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