Google announces new Explore feature for Google Maps

Jane McEntegart

July 24, 2014 3:00pm

Google is really spoiling Maps users this month. Just last week, an update to Google Maps added the ability to view elevation when planning cycling routes and the ability to ask questions during Navigation. Now, Google is introducing (via server-side switch) a new feature for iOS and Android users that will help you discover new and exciting things to do wherever you are.

Explore is a button that pops up on the bottom right of your map and will help you find nearby points of interest, places to eat, and things to do based on your location, the weather, how far you’re willing to go, and the time of day. You can toggle these settings if you’re looking for a recommendation for another time or for restaurants in another place entirely.

It’s also capable of giving you more information about your destination once you arrive, offering up reviews, recommendations, and insights with a simple tap of the ‘My Location’ button. You can then improve the accuracy of Explore and its recommendations by confirming the places you’ve visited. For example, we imagine Google will eventually stop recommending bars if you never seem to go to any of them when they’re thrown at you in Explore.

Google Maps Product Manager d today that this new feature works best if you’re signed in and have location reporting and history switched on. It’s all about the data, folks.

  • Candido

    Anyone in Canada see this option?

    • Nexzen

      Data shows in Canada, we don’t like to explore.

  • Lexcyn

    Doesn’t work in Canada. You can test by moving to a US city like New York and the button will appear… but doesn’t come up in any city in Canada (that I’ve tried).

  • FakeBibic

    Isn’t this the field trip app?

  • It’s Me

    Neat idea but why is Canada excluded? We don’t have any POI they care to report?

  • jxjan

    As a Canadian living in Japan, it works here. This feature is amazing 🙂

  • Vestaloyne

    If this isn’t working try Google’s other app Field Trip: it’s basically the same thing but it’ll work in Canada

  • ammanerz

    I’m wondering if this would become a paid ad feature in the future, or business’ can bump themselves up in the results. I feel like it skirts the line between their “open search”, and maps which is technically something else. We’ll see in the future if this option takes off.. Google now, maps, navigation, translate, and explore. Its like the one stop shop for tourists.