Google Maps Gets New Updates & Features

Google Maps is unveiling a number of transformative updates that will redefine the way users navigate, explore, and connect with it. Here, we’ll guide you through the latest enhancements that are set to improve the Google Maps experience, and how you can adapt to some of these important changes.

1. Google Maps’ Newest Photo-First Redesign 

Google Maps’ latest search results redesign places a greater emphasis on the importance of photos. This new search interface prioritizes images, urging business owners to give careful attention to the visual content associated with their Google My Business profile.

Google is introducing a “photo-first” search result layout, which is set to go live this week in France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. Within this new redesign, Google Maps prominently showcases photos above other listing details such as the company name, star reviews, address, and contact information.

Why The Change? – The shift towards a “photo-first” approach is motivated by the fact that for certain local searches, users prefer to see images of food, attractions, venues, and more. Google’s aim is to provide better organized search results that ignite users’ imagination. Furthermore, Google will be rolling out thematic results for activities and dining on both Android and iOS platforms in the coming weeks.

How It Works & How AI Is Helping – Google employs artificial intelligence (AI) to select the photos displayed in the listings. Their algorithms make the decisions, drawing from an extensive database of images shared by the Google Maps community. This selection process relies on advanced AI and image recognition models to curate the most relevant visuals.

Business Owners Take Note – For business owners, this development underscores the importance of actively managing the photos associated with their local maps listings. They have the option to upload their own images through Google Business Profiles and can also encourage customers to contribute positive photos when leaving reviews on Google Maps and Local.

With the holidays around the corner, this is the perfect time to update your Google My Business Profile to ensure you maximize your branding and visibility for customers during the busy holiday rush.



2. Increased UI with Even More Visualization Features

Google Maps is rolling out enhanced visualization features to elevate the user experience. The Lens in Maps feature, previously known as “Search with Live View,” is now available in an additional 50 cities. This function empowers users to leverage their phone’s camera to scan nearby buildings, providing instant information such as store names, reviews, and other relevant details by analyzing billions of photos.

Immerse Yourself Google Maps is introducing improved visualization for its navigation tools. The Immersive View, initially announced in May, is expanding its coverage to include more cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Immersive View enables users to virtually explore their planned routes, enhancing their understanding of the journey.

More to Come Over the next few months, Google plans to offer enhanced visual representations of buildings and lanes in 12 countries, providing drivers with clearer guidance along their routes. In the United States, a new feature will soon allow users to check for the presence of carpool lanes on highways, improving the accuracy of route planning. These updates signify Google Maps’ commitment to delivering a more immersive and informative navigation experience.

3. Good News for Electric Vehicle Owners

Google Maps is enhancing its Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station feature this week, providing drivers with valuable insights to improve their EV charging experience. Users can now access information on the most recent usage of a charging station, thereby reducing the risk of traveling to an inactive station.

Charging Speed & Compatibility – This feature also provides details about the charging speed of the station and compatibility with the driver’s car. While these specifics are not novel tools, they remain essential for EV users.

This update underscores Google’s commitment to supporting the EV ecosystem and facilitating a smoother journey for EV drivers.

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