Google Maps

Pacman Google Maps brings April Fools’ one day early

Pacman Google Maps brings April Fools’ one day early

Prepare yourself for the incoming wave of April Fools jokes, pranks, and otherwise happy-go-lucky oddities like Pacman for Google Maps. Today Google begins early with this game that rests in one of their most popular products. Here you'll be able to play Pacman on a map of whatever city you happen to be in - just so long as it has roads. Head to Google Maps and you'll find yourself a Pacman button in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. You'll need to be on a desktop machine for this to work - for now.

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Google Street View used for driving license exam prep

Google Street View used for driving license exam prep

There's a crew called ACR that's making use of Google's Street View program to prepare prospective drivers for their driving exams in real life. While they suggest that this program is not meant to replace the standard testing, they do aim to create an environment where learning about driving laws, regulations, and real-life situations is done as naturally as possible. Instead of the standard overhead view - like you may remember from your own driving instructions - this driving instruction is done virtually, on real, photographed roads.

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Google’s Places API for Android, iOS brings better location awareness

Google’s Places API for Android, iOS brings better location awareness

When you tell someone where you are in the world, you rarely give out your longitude and latitude (unless your name is Walter White). That’s because you probably don’t know it, can’t find it, or just plain don’t care. Today, Google figured out longitude and latitude are cool and science-y, but not useful for consumers. With their new Places API for Android and iOS, Google is letting Developers tap into your location signal to actually let people know where you are, not your coordinates.

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Google Street View goes underwater near Brazilian islands

Google Street View goes underwater near Brazilian islands

Google has slowly been imaging the world and all its nooks and crannies for Street View, and that sometime involves going to somewhat unusual or otherwise unexpected places. The Internet giant has again done this, only this time it went underwater near some of Brazil's seldom-visited and beautiful islands. There's a good change you'll never take a dive in these regions yourself, but with the new imagery you can take a plunge under the sea and get a look at, among other things, some dolphins nearby.

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Mapillary creates maps with crowdsourced street views

Mapillary creates maps with crowdsourced street views

Mapillary is taking crowdsourcing to the streets, or more precisely, street views. Instead of relying on a single authority (cough, Google Street Views) to relay street level photos, Mapillary lets anyone upload photos of their environment. Mapillary uses the idea that locals can create better images of their surrounding environment than an automated car passing through a city. You can browse through hidden alleyways in Spain, or take a visual drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. You can also upload your own photos using your smartphone camera and their handy app.

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Waze may soon be a pre-loaded Android app

Waze may soon be a pre-loaded Android app

If Google Maps didn’t come pre-installed on your phone, you probably went and found it on an app store somewhere. The leading mobile Maps app has a lot of features that keep users coming back, and it gets better all the time. On purchasing Waze, many assumed Google would simply shutter the service at some point (at least in the US) and bring it to Maps. Today, Waze is announcing the app may soon come as standard an Android app, preloaded when you buy your next phone.

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‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

Do you know what a Google ‘Local Guide’ is? It’s the latest re-branding of Google’s community outreach program, once dubbed “City Experts”, which was previously led by teams of Googlers actually doing stuff in your city. The ‘Local Guides’ program was announced last month, but google is getting serious about their crowdsourced restaurant review program. The feature is now baked straight into the Maps app, and apparently resides in both iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. It also steps right on Yelp’s toes.

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Google Earth Pro drops $399 subscription, now available for free

Google Earth Pro drops $399 subscription, now available for free

Google has recently revealed that it is dropping the paid subscription from Google Earth Pro, a more robust version of its Google Earth software. The Pro service will now be available for free, previously costing $399 per year. While the standard version of Google Earth has often been more than enough for casual map and globe users, the Pro version has seen use among professionals from scientists to businesses, who have been able to take advantage of advanced features previously not available for free.

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Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs around the nation want Google and Waze to stop tracking their whereabouts. A feature in Waze allows users to report on traffic accidents or other traffic slowdowns, but also allows for users to report where police might be stationed. According to law enforcement officials, that presents a danger to them. The existing feature shows where a police officer might be located, but doesn’t report why they are there. Sheriffs are even going so far as to call Waze a “police stalker” app.

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Google Maps for Android and iOS updated

Google Maps for Android and iOS updated

Google Maps has been updated for both Android and iOS, bringing users both new features and improvements. This takes iOS users up to version 4.2.0 (the version varies for Android users), and while there are a couple similarities between the two updates, both give users different new features on their respective platforms. The most notable new feature for iOS users is the ability to see weather for cities around the globe; Android users, meanwhile, can see their contacts when they're searching for addresses in Maps.

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