Did you know that you can use Google Maps to navigate your way across town in the same way you can use your GPS? Just launch Google Maps and enter your destination and off you go. But did you know that there is something even further Google can do to help you with your regular commute? Google Maps will let you know when you are approaching traffic congestion and find a route for you to avoid the problem. You just have to trust the app and follow the instructions given. It does take a leap of faith but once Google guides you around an hour long line of traffic you will be thankful you listened.
Let’s have a closer look at Google Maps navigation feature and learn how it is that Google knows when there is an accident on the Oak Street bridge.
Let’s say you want to make a trip to Yaletown. Launch the Google Maps app and enter where you would like to go. Next you will see the various options you can use to get to downtown Vancouver along with time estimates.
- Car – 35 minutes
- Transit – 51 minutes
- Walking – 8 hours (I never want to find out if this estimate is correct. I like walking but not this much.)
- Cycling – 2 hours 29 minutes
To start the Navigation instructions, press the navigation icon (blue circle with the arrow) at the bottom of the page.
Once the Navigation voice is activated, you will be given step by step instructions to your chosen destination. Notice at the bottom of the page, it provides you with a duration, distance and arrival time – 35 minutes, 26 km, arriving by 5:04 PM.
Are you still wondering how Google Maps Navigation is able to figure out if there is traffic congestion ahead? Well as it turns – you and I and the millions of people with location-enabled cell phones are providing this information to Google. Oh my – this is a little creepy! The technology is known as crowdsourcing. Check out this explanation from Google in 2009. Imagine over 6 years ago Google had already implemented the process of monitoring our roadways. Now with the explosion of mobile device usage Google has even more data; with more data comes increased accuracy of the prediction of the road conditions.
So the next time you head across town, turn on Google Maps Navigation to arrive at your destination on-time and unstressed.