9 Things You Didn't Know Google Maps Could Do

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I am not great with directions. Well, actually, that's a bit of an understatement; I can get seriously lost just trying to find the bathroom. This is why I was so delighted to discover the myriad things Google Maps can do that I honestly had no idea about. With these hacks in hand, I will never again find myself in the proverbial middle of nowhere half an hour away when all I wanted to do was find the nearest bodega.

For those who are directionally-challenged like me, Google Maps is a lifesaver. Not only does it get me where I need to go, but it shows me the fastest routes to take with astounding accuracy, essentially eliminating my aforementioned struggles. But Google Maps isn't just about getting from Point A to Point B. The extent of features that the app has to offer is breathtaking, and with the constant updates, whether you are an GM aficionado or a newbie, there are probably

Google Maps can not only help you find your destination, it can plan a vacation, book your travel on a budget, and show you the street view of almost any coordinates around the world (as long as the street view car can get there, of course). With all the amazing features Google Maps has to offer, gone are the days of creased and torn paper maps — it just makes life and travel so much easier. If you want to learn more about the fun, useful tools the app has to offer, scan through this list of tips and tricks and prepare to be amazed. Even the Google Maps power user might be surprised by what the app can do!

1Save Maps For When You Are Offline

Google Maps

Did you know it's incredibly easy to save maps to your mobile device and access them without internet connection? Simply look up a map of your desired area and type "Okay Maps" into the search bar. Move the highlighted section to your specifications, and tap "Download" to have access to the map no matter where you travel. With this handy feature, you'll never get lost on vacay again  — so long as you remember to charge your phone!

2Navigate Inside A Building

Google Maps

Google Maps doesn't stop being useful once you reach your destination. In fact, you can view the floor plans of many museums, historic buildings, airports, and sporting arenas on Google Maps with amazing ease. Simply zoom in on a building to see if the floor plan is available, and switch from floor to floor using the bar on the left hand side. With this feature you can navigate important sights expertly so you can feel like you own the place — even if you're a tourist. So much better than spending 10 minutes trying to find the elevator!

3Search For Upcoming Events

Google Maps

Want to see what's going on around the neighborhood without wasting time with endless Google searches? With the tap of a finger, you can access all the upcoming events near you and make a speedy and educated decision as to how to spend your Friday night. Simply type in the venue in the Google Maps search bar, then tap on the venue description to reveal upcoming shows and events. For links to buy tickets, simply scroll down past the reviews section to the list of upcoming events, and find the one that best suits you.  

4Save Favorite Locations With A Pin

Google Maps

Ever find an amazing restaurant or park and immediately forget the name, thus destroying your chance of ever finding it again? Google Maps is here to help with its awesome save feature. Instead of trying to commit the location to memory, type its name or address into the search bar. Tap the bottom tag to expand it to full screen and hit the "save" star between the "call" and "website" options. Now whenever you look at a map of the area, the star will appear at all your saved locations. Save locations you want to visit before going on vacation, and you'll never forget a stop again!

5Find The Cheapest Gas

Google Maps

To find the best deal on gas along your travels, open Google Maps and tap the search bar to reveal the drop down menu of local services. Selecting the "Gas Stations" option will pull up a list of those nearby. For easy comparative shopping, each gas station will have the price per gallon of Regular listed underneath its address and hours. Using this feature will not only save you time that might have been spent driving around looking for the cheapest gas, but money as well. Hooray!  

6Remember Exactly What You Did On Vacation

Google Maps

It may seem invasive to be tracked by Google, but it can also be useful to have a record of where you've been and what you've seen. Simply enable "Location History" in Google Maps' settings to pull up your travels on any specified day or year. Who knows? It might come in handy for that future memoir!

7Share Directions With Friends Through The App

Google Maps

Instead of telling your friends what trains go to your house, send them step-by-step directions through Google Maps. Skip the confusion by entering a starting location and destination to bring up the best routes. Clicking on the three vertical dots next to the start point will bring up a menu with the option to share these directions — and with them, the assurance that your friends won't get lost trying to find you.

8Find Local Food And Drink Recommendations To Fit Your Specific Needs

Google Maps

Whether you are exploring an unfamiliar neighborhood or searching for a new favorite place to grab a drink, Google Maps can help. To bring up nearby dining options, tap the "Explore food & drinks near you" tab at the bottom of the screen. Google filters your search by type of meal or beverage so you can easily navigate the choices based on the reviews of locals. Tap on a spot to bring up pictures, the street view, reviews, and hours so you can make your choice wisely.

9Call A Cab Without Leaving Google Maps

Google Maps

Once you've brought up directions in Google Maps, there is no need to go to a separate app to call a car. Instead, tap on the figure hailing a cab to bring up ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. The estimate fares and arrival times for each service will be displayed, and you can even take advantage of discount codes available by booking a ride service from within the app. Getting from one place to another has never been easier!