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Google Maps Now Uses Landmarks for Directions

Dave Parrack 17-04-2018

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 Waze Now Offers Hands-Free Navigation for Drivers Waze has added three oft-requested features to its Android and iOS apps. This is reason enough to give Waze another try. Read More 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.

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 6 Google Maps Alternatives and Why They Matter Google Maps isn't the only free map application on the web. These Google Maps alternatives bring useful features and helpful information to help you go around your world. Read More 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 Google Maps Now Helps You Find a Parking Space Google Maps is introducing new tools to help you park your car. And in one fell swoop, Google Maps has eased the worried minds of drivers everywhere. Read More , track friends in real-time How to Track Friends in Real-Time Using Google Maps Google Maps now lets you share your real-time location with others. Next time you're running late, this will let them know exactly when to expect you. Read More , and even explore the solar system Google Maps Now Lets You Explore the Solar System You can now explore space using Google Maps, allowing us all to become virtual astronauts. Read More .

Related topics: Google, Google Maps.

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  1. dragonmouth
    April 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    "This could obviously help drivers get to where they want to go."
    Maybe yes, maybe no. What happens when that Burger King is sold and becomes a Jiffy Lube or a CVS? What happens when the gnarly oak tree is cut down or knocked down by a hurricane? What happens when the school building is converted to condos or becomes a mini park? What happens when the statue of Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee is taken down because of Political Correctness? How quickly will Google Maps be updated with the new data?

    The instruction to "go 6 blocks, or .7 miles and make a turn" will not change unless some MAJOR re-development takes place. OTOH, landmarks have a nasty habit of coming and going. Also, different people use different landmarks in giving directions to the same place.

    "Humanized" Google Maps directions may give people the warm-and-fuzzies but they are a step backwards, not an improvement. The directions provided by Google Maps, Mapquest, Wayz and other services may be sterile but they at least they are standardized across all the services. Anybody can follow them without having any local knowledge.