Google Maps has shown massive improvement in the last few months. If you do not know, Google Maps is a web mapping platform that provides satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps with Street View (360° panoramic view), real-time traffic conditions, etc. Google Maps has gained significant importance from these offerings in everyone’s life.
This essential mapping tool has become a valuable resource for people. Even though this service from Google was released in 2005, the situation has changed today. People are looking for AI integration in Google Maps, especially given the promises developers made at the Google I/O event. Surprisingly, they have started rolling out a few AI features for it. Nevertheless, few people know about them, so let us discuss them all.
How AI Transforms Your Google Maps Experience: A User’s Guide
You will be surprised to know that even AI (artificial intelligence) is getting hands-on with numerous industry legends, but still, people need to learn more about AI. However, if someone knows about it, they need to learn how the app functions with AI. Integrating AI into an existing app can raise numerous user queries. Keeping that fact in mind, we are starting this guide by explaining AI, how AI contributes to Google Maps, and the features you can use. So, let us get started.
What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
You might have heard about AI, which makes complex tasks more straightforward with its understanding. AI is the ability of a machine to simulate human intelligence. AI systems can learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions without being explicitly programmed. From these attributes, AI is used in several applications, such as language processing, computer vision, etc. The same thing happened with Google Maps, which we will understand in the next section.
Types of AI used in Google Maps
As mentioned earlier, AI works through different types, but the question arises: what integrations have been added to Google Maps? So, upon reviewing Google Maps’ recent integration with AI, we found that Google Maps uses four types of AI integration. These are natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning, and deep learning. All these types have different functions. To explain it better, here are their functions:
- Natural Language Processing: To understand the user’s intent when searching for any map subject.
- Computer Vision: AI that processes and interprets images, especially satellite view imagery, so that Google Maps can provide detailed and accurate navigation.
- Machine Learning: This AI helps interpret real-time traffic conditions for your selected destination and suggests the fastest route.
- Deep learning seems like a futuristic approach, as it uses artificial neural networks to learn from data and develop new features based on that, like today’s immersive view.
How AI Enhances Google Maps
You have learned about AI and the different integrations that have transformed basic Google Maps into an AI-powered iteration. But the question arises: how exactly does AI help enhance the user experience? This discussion will focus on the features introduced with AI integration into Google Maps. Below are AI-powered features that will enhance your Google Maps experience.
- Immersive view: A new view has been added to the existing Google Maps views. Using deep learning, Google Maps creates realistic 3D models of places, giving users a better idea of a particular location’s appearance.
- Live view: Similar to the immersive view, this feature utilises augmented reality to overlay directions and other information, allowing users to navigate new places without constantly looking at their phones.
- Street view matching: Another AI integration is computer vision, making matching street view images with locations easier. This allows users to see a location based on its appearance before visiting it.
- Predictive Traffic Insights: With AI integration, Google Maps now includes a predictive insights tab that shows traffic expectations based on historical and real-time traffic data. This helps users avoid traffic jams and save time.
- Personalised recommendations: This feature, which is also my favourite, uses AI to understand a specific user’s preferences, such as their preferred places. Google Maps then shows locations, popular foods, and other things based on these preferences, making it easier for users to find what they want.
In addition to these features, there are several other AI-integrated features, including eco-friendly routing (suggesting routes that use less fuel), Google Lens (identifying and learning about objects in maps), visual search (searching using images), multiple stops (planning trips with different stops), indoor navigation (providing indoor navigation for shopping, museums, etc.), offline maps (viewing maps without internet), and many more.
Steps to Use AI-Integrated Features in Google Maps
After learning about the various AI-powered features in Google Maps, the next step is understanding how to use them. Although all the features are accessible from the same window, here are the steps to give you a brief overview and help you get started with each feature.
To use an immersive view
Note: These steps are the same for getting any location into Street View. Step 3 will automatically get it in such a view.
- Open Google Maps.
- Search for your preferred place.
- Tap the photo at the top of the screen.
- Now tap the Immersive View icon (a pair of binoculars) at the bottom.
- That is it; you will see the place in an immersive view.
To use Live View
- Open Google Maps on your phone.
- Then tap the live view button at the bottom.
- Now, point your camera at the world around you.
- Following this, Google will overlay directions and other information.
- That is all. In this way, use live viewing.
To use street view matching
- Launch Google Maps.
- Then, search for a place.
- Now tap the photo to get into the street view.
- Next, tap the street matching icon (a small orange square with a white arrow) at the bottom.
- That is it. Street view images will match the locations.
To use eco-friendly routing
- On your phone, open Google Maps.
- Tap on the three dots appearing at the top right.
- Now tap on settings >> navigation >> route options.
- Under route preferences, select the eco-friendly option.
- That is it; you can now fulfil your purpose.
Besides that, I am sure you are used to other features like personalised recommendations, searching for places using images, planning routes with multiple stops, etc. Integrating AI into Google Maps has revolutionised our navigation experiences, making them more efficient, personalised, and user-friendly. Using AI-driven navigation not only simplifies our daily commutes but also offers a way into the exciting future of mapping and navigation services, where AI will continue to play a central role in shaping the way we explore and navigate the world around us.
Frequently asked questions
Q1. Is Google Maps strong AI?
Ans. This cannot be answered right now, as the integration was just released, so it takes time to judge whether it is weak or strong.
Q2. Does Siri use AI?
Ans. Yes, Siri uses AI to understand and answer your queries.
Q3. Why is ChatGPT called GPT?
Ans. GPT stands for generative pre-trained transformer, which indicates how ChatGPT works.
Q4. Which AI beats Google?
Ans. AlphaGo is performing in such a way that it beats Google.
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