The Live View feature in Google Maps shows you an augmented reality view of your surroundings so that you can easily find where the map is guiding you, be it roads, buildings, parks, or any other identifiable structure. After all, it actually provides a more realistic navigation experience by letting you visualize your destination in the real world topped off with an AR overlay of direction cues. Today, Google has announced a few updates for the Live View experience in Google Maps that will make it even more useful. The first one of those additions is nearby landmark guidance.
As the name suggests, Live View will show you nearby landmarks to help you get a better idea of your position and surroundings. It will show you how far away a landmark is, and will also provide the directions in case you want to visit it, all in a real-world view caught with your phone’s camera. The landmarks can be anything ranging from historical monuments and famous buildings to public parks and tourist spots. It is currently live for 25 cities across the world, and more will be added soon. You can check the full list of compatible cities here.
And if you are on your way to some other place that involves both walking and getting on board a bus or any other vehicle, you can launch the Live View straight from the transit tab. When you reach a point in your journey where you need to walk, Live View will guide you with a real-world view navigation experience. Needless to say, this will be extremely helpful for multi-modal navigation.
Google has also announced that Live View in Location Sharing, which is currently exclusive to Pixel smartphones since its debut last month, will soon be expanded to more Android and iOS smartphones. What this means is you can now reach your friends by getting navigation info via Live View, and not a flat map.
Lastly, Google says that it has also improved the location pinning experience on Live View. Now, instead of the pin hovering high above the ground and confusing users, location pins will now be much closer to the ground to give them a better idea of where actually a road or building is located. This will help them more easily spot the location of a pinned spot or landmark in Live View. Google says that Live View in the transit tab and Location Sharing on non-Pixel devices will arrive in the coming weeks on Android and iOS.