For many people these days, Google Maps has become an indispensable tool for navigating the real world. Not everyone, however, finds it easy to use even a digital and advanced map and prefer visual cues to orient themselves. Google developed its AR-based Live View precisely for that purpose and it is now announcing a few new improvements that will hopefully make locating your destination and your friends a lot easier, especially for those who feel overwhelmed by maps.
Google Maps’ Live View tries to accomplish two things with augmented reality. Like Google Maps’ car navigation directions but for walking, it put virtual arrows and distances on your phone’s screen to serve as visual cues to your destination. The way it works also meant you hold your phone and your head up high instead of looking down on a map to reduce the chances of walking into someone or something.
Soon, Live View will also mark landmarks, at least the more popular ones, so you can easily note where you are or where you’re going. These landmarks include iconic places and structures depending on where you are.
Of course, this only matters if you actually have Live View available in your location, which still doesn’t have coverage in all places. Google is expanding that to include even the last few miles of your journey after you get off a train or bus station. Tourists will probably love this new feature.
Even if you’re just meeting up with a friend, however, Live Maps will also have something to offer. Previously available only on Google’s own Pixel phones, users on Android and iOS will soon be able to share their location as well and be able to see how far or near your friend is, in augmented reality, of course.