Google Map Update Includes Elevation Information, Explore Nearby Enhanced With Better Search Features

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By Sovan Mandal | July 23, 2014 2:07 PM EST

Google is reported to be working on introducing some exciting new features to its Google Maps that already has evolved as the navigating aid of choice for most around us. Some of the updates should be especially appealing to the cyclists or hikers since it involves informing them of not only the most convenient route to travel from point A to point B but also takes into consideration the elevation of the route in doing so.

REUTERS
A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Brussels, May 30, 2014. Google has taken the first steps to meet a European ruling that citizens can have objectionable links removed from Internet search results, a ruling that pleased privacy campaigners but raised fears that the right can be abused to hide negative information.

A voice icon floating around the bottom left corner is another new addition of Google Maps that is being worked upon, reports CNET. A tap on it will invoke voice input mode and is designed to answer queries from the user. Among the generic commands the new feature is designed to answer include:

"Where is my next turn?"

"When will we get there?"

"Show alternate route."

"Navigate to [place name]"

"show traffic"

"how long until desitination," and so on.

However, these features are yet to be tested and there is no way to be sure of how well these can perform in real world conditions and in different regions of the world.

Other enhancements to look forward to is a much improved Explore Nearby feature that already has been a hit with Google Map users, reports Android Police. Explore Nearby, as the name itself suggests is a nice feature that allows users to get acclimatized with a given location easily by pointing out popular tourist spots or other areas of interest near to a given location.

With the enhancements in place, users get to choose from the various categories of places they can visit. This can be restaurants, entertainment zones, shopping centers and so on. Explore Nearby has also been made time sensitive in that users can choose to search according to the time of the day (or night). For instance, if Explore Nearby is set to Late Night mode, its most likely to feed users with info about night clubs, places to dine, or those offering lodging facilities instead of say, museums, zoo and so on.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Francois Lenoir )
A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Brussels, May 30, 2014. Google has taken the first steps to meet a European ruling that citizens can have objectionable links removed from Internet search results, a ruling that pleased privacy campaigners but raised fears that the right can be abused to hide negative information.
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