Google rolls out new Maps features

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Google Maps rolled out a host of new and interesting features recently, delighting millions of Indian users. This includes voice navigation in different languages, and Plus Codes for finding places with no address.

The new language feature offers support for six other Indian languages namely Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, also with voice navigation. Another new feature is the Plus Codes, to improve search for places which do not have a corresponding address. A plus code is essentially like a street address for people or places that don’t have one. Plus codes, represent a unique geographical location, and consist of a combination of area codes and local codes to give unrecognized places an address. These codes can be generated by anyone from within the app and then shared across platforms – social media, messages, mail etc.

In order to generate a plus code, you need to zoom in to a specific location, drop the location pin and tap the pin to see the plus code for your selected location. All codes are unique and would be generated by Google itself. Plus codes are free and the technology they work on is open-sourced, meaning applications using location services can incorporate this feature. Notably, plus codes don’t require a network to work. Hence, someone without an Internet can also create a plus code and share them via SMS/call.

To help users find addresses better, Google now offers a detailed form on Maps app, where users can provide address details for any house, shop or office. This address will be searchable and visible to all users on Maps. For users’ safety, the address form will not use names or any other personal details which can be used to identify a person with an address.

Another exciting feature is that Google now offers real time traffic updates on your selected routes. Google has tied up with the traffic authorities in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. For example, if there is an event taking place that might affect the traffic on your route, Google will update that information to give you a more accurate understanding of the routes that will be affected.

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