Five biggest changes in Google Map
Five biggest changes in Google Maps. Photo: Bizfly

Google Maps just got another huge update, bringing with it lots of fancy features to help you get around. In total, the update delivers more than 100 improvements, many of which are powered by AI and machine learning.

Features coming to Google Maps include indoor live view, more eco-friendly route-planning, pollution maps and more. Here are the biggest changes coming to Google Maps this year, and what the update means for you.

1. Indoor Live View

Five biggest changes in Google Map
Photo: Androidheadlines

One of the more interesting features to hit Google Maps back in 2019 was Live View, which lets you use AR to see your directions in the context of the real world. The update will bring Live View to indoor locations, which is good news as they're often among the most awkward places to navigate.

The principle is the same, but recent advancements mean Google Maps can better understand altitude and the placement of things within a building; the result is that AR-powered indoor navigation is now fit for purpose, Tomsguide noted.

2. Eco-friendly driving options

Five biggest changes in Google Map
Photo: Newson6

Driving is far from the most environmentally conscious way to get around, unless you're using one of the best electric cars, but Google Maps will now help you make your trips as green as possible. Part of that involves a new routing model that optimizes your journey for fuel consumption, built in conjunction with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab.

Once this new feature arrives, Google Maps will automatically default to routes that have the lowest carbon footprint. This will have the added bonus of saving you money, because more efficient fuel consumption means you won’t need to fill up with gas quite as often.

The clincher here is that these newly optimized routes will have roughly the same ETA as the fastest route available, so you won't be delayed by taking a slightly more efficient trip. Of course if speed is everything, then you'll still be able to tell Google that you always want the fastest route, no matter what. The new route optimization feature will launch on Android and iOS in the U.S. later this year, with a global rollout to follow.

In another update for drivers, Google Maps will also warn you if you're heading into a low emission zone. That way, you can avoid areas where your car isn’t allowed, saving you hassle and charges that stem from not having a zero- or low-emission vehicle. That arrives in June in Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, and the U.K. More relevant countries will follow later.

3. Most efficient route for multiple stops

Five biggest changes in Google Map
Photo: Optimoroute

Instead of figuring out the best order to visit multiple stops during a single drive on your own, Google Maps should be able to calculate that for you. As it is now, you can add as many stops or destinations as you'd like. But the order in which the app maps all those stops is based on whatever order you manually entered those stops.

The trip mapping doesn't take into consideration that you put the grocery store first, your grandma's house across town second, and then the gas station near the grocery store — and in that order. That's not the most efficient route, and while you can easily shuffle the order, can't Google just do it for us, Sea Mashable asked.

4. Integrated weather and air quality

Five biggest changes in Google Map
Photo: Techbeezer

Your phone already has a weather app preinstalled, but now Google is rolling those features into Google Maps. With the Weather layer, you’ll be able to see current and forecasted weather in an area, ensuring you’re always prepared for whatever the skies may throw at you. Another new layer,meanwhile, will tell you what the quality of the local air is like.

Both layers will rely on data from a number of third parties, including The Weather Company,, and the Central Pollution Board. The weather layer will be available worldwide, though the air quality layer will initially be restricted to Australia, India, and the U.S. Weather and air pollution will be available on Android and iOS, with a rollout set to occur in “the coming months.”

5. Sunrise / sunset warning

Five biggest changes in Google Map
Photo: Georgecoghill Wordpress

I love how the Google Maps app adjusts the screen contrast from light to dark mode once it's officially sundown. But in the list of directions or on the trip overview, it could let you know that the light and visibility will be changing during the course of your drive.

Similar to how Google Maps already alerts you that the business you're heading to may close by the time you're scheduled to arrive, the app could notify you that the sun will go down during your drive.

Google Map - A brighter future

Five biggest changes in Google Map
Photo: WIRED

The changes are just the latest in a string of updates in recent months, as Google (GOOGL) looks to make Maps not just a place to go for directions, but one where people can plan where to go, communicate with local businesses, figure out how to get there, pay for parking and share about their experiences. The app also added a feature in September that shows how prevalent coronavirus is in a given area.

"With all the change our world saw over the past year, people are relying more than ever on high-quality, updated information about the places around them — like if a nearby restaurant is open or if a local grocery store has updated hours," Google said in a statement, adding that it wants to, "make it easy for anyone with a Google account to contribute their local knowledge.", Edition reported.

READ MORE: How to Add or Edit Road on Google Maps?

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