Google is testing changing the way Google Maps gives out directions. The idea is to make Google Maps sound more human, and employ similar clues as a real person would when asked for directions to a particular location. Which essentially means pointing landmarks.
Thanks to sat navs and smartphones, it has probably been a while since anyone pulled over and asked you for directions. However, when that was a common occurrence, the chances are you would have used memorable landmarks to help drivers remember.
Google Maps Loves Fast Food Chains
Google Maps and other GPS platforms currently don’t do that. Instead, they use a combination of distances and street names. This works, but can lead to you overshooting a turn, especially if you get distracted. So Google is testing a different way of doing things.
Some users have noticed that Google Maps has started naming places of interest when giving directions. These places of interest include fast food restaurants such as Burger King and White Castle. But we have to assume there’s no favoritism here.
— Deemah MS (@iamdeemah) April 14, 2018
This feature hasn’t been advertised, and isn’t listed in the most recent update. And that’s probably because this is just being tested right now. Google told Engadget that this is just one of a number of methods being tested to “make guidance better”.
If other methods are being tested, no one has yet reported hearing them. Still, it seems clear that Google is exploring ways of making Google Maps give directions in ways closer to how humans would. Which utilizes buildings and businesses as visual clues.
Following Machines From A to B
This could obviously help drivers get to where they want to go. However, it could also help us become less reliant on navigation tools. Right now we blindly follow a machine from A to B. But this could make us take notice of our surroundings once again.
As these Google Maps alternatives show, this isn’t the only navigation app worth using. However, it does have some features you may not be aware of. Google Maps can now find you a parking space, track friends in real-time, and even explore the solar system.