After a two-year absence, Google has brought the in-map compass back to Google Maps on Android thanks, it says, to continued user pressure for a return of the feature.
“You wanted it and we heard you,” a support post on Google Maps help begins. “We’re excited to announce the return of the compass on Maps for Android. “The compass was removed from Maps for Android in early 2019 in an effort to clean up the Navigation screen but due to overwhelming support it’s back!”
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While it’s easy to be cynical about companies insisting that something returning is due to popular demand, it’s pretty clear that people really did miss the compass. You don’t have to look far to find plenty of examples on Google’s own support pages.
The compass appears as a widget on the right-hand side of the map screen, with a red arrow determinedly pointing north on the map as you rotate your phone. It’s a handy extra bit of info as you navigate unknown places, and given the small footprint it takes up, it’s hard to believe Google ever thought it was worth removing.
Indeed, Google’s explanation that it was removed to clean up the navigation screen is a little hard to stomach when the change only ever happened on the Android version of the app. The iOS edition has kept the compass for the past two years, and Google says that iPhone owners won’t ever have to experience this time in the wilderness: “For Google Maps users on iOS the compass was not removed and will continue to be available,” the support post confirms.
We already knew that Google Maps would be getting a bunch of upgrades, including Indoor Live View, integrated weather and air quality, and eco-friendly driving options, but the return of the compass was something that Google kept quiet until release.
You can see all these features in the latest version of Google Maps. If it doesn’t automatically update, you’re looking for version 10.62 on the Google Play Store. Just remember that phone compasses aren’t always completely reliable, even after calibration, so don’t let Google Maps overrule your own senses when out exploring the world.
Each day the Earth rotates about its axis once. The ends of the axes are the True North and South poles. True North on a map is the direction of a line of longitude which converges on the North Pole.
The grid lines on Ordnance Survey maps divide the UK into one kilometre squares, east of an imaginary zero point in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Cornwall. The grid lines point to a Grid North, varying slightly from True North. This variation is smallest along the central meridian (vertical line) of the map, and greatest at the map edges. The difference between grid north and true north is very small and for most navigation purposes can almost always be ignored.
A compass needle points to the magnetic north pole. The magnetic north pole is currently located in the Baffin Island region of Canada, and from the UK, is west of true north. The horizontal angular difference between True North and Magnetic North is called MAGNETIC VARIATION or DECLINATION.
Google Maps North
Google Maps use a variant of the Mercator projection for its map images. The Mercator map was developed in 1569 by Gerardus Mercator as a navigation tool based on a rectangular grid with parallel lines of latitude and longitude. The Mercator map was designed as an aid to navigators since straight lines on the Mercator projection are loxodromes or rhumb lines – representing lines of constant compass bearing – perfect for ‘true’ direction.
True North on Google Maps is not shown, but for a normal Mercator projection, grid north and true north will coincide and it will follow any vertical line (or meridian) to the top of the map.
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Rotate Google Maps and you can orient yourself with the direction you are traveling and the landmarks on the map. This article will show you how to change the orientation on Google Maps in the browser and on the mobile app.
Rotate Google Maps in Any Browser
You can only rotate the web version of Google Maps in the Satellite view. The other map layers do not support rotation.
Open Google Maps in any supported browser.
Navigate to the location you want to rotate by searching from the Maps search bar or by allowing the map to auto-detect your location.
Zoom to the location if needed with the scroll wheel on the mouse or with the Zoom slider on the right of the map.
Click the Layers panel on the bottom left to switch to Satellite view.
You're now in Satellite view.
Select the Compass on the right of the map screen. The red part of the compass shows the north direction on the map.
Select the left or right arrows on the compass to rotate the map counterclockwise or clockwise. You can also press Control on the keyboard and drag on the map with the mouse to get a 3D view oriented in any direction.
Alternatively, use keyboard shortcuts to rotate Google Maps in Satellite view. You can find all Google Maps shortcuts by pressing Ctrl + / on your keyboard.
Rotate Google Maps in the Mobile App
Your first instinct might be to rotate the phone itself, but that won’t align the road names with the orientation of the phone. Rotating the map view is far more intuitive on the Google Maps app for iOS and Android. You can use the instructions on any Google Maps layer and while navigating between two locations. The screenshots below are from Google Maps on iOS.
Open the Google Maps app.
Search for a place or allow Google Maps to auto-detect your location.
Place two fingers on the map and rotate in any direction. Google Maps displays a tiny compass on the screen that moves with the orientation of the map. The compass icon only appears when you move the map manually. Tap on the compass again to orient the map along the north-south axis.
The red arrow shows north and the grey points towards the south. Use this as a guide to rotate the map and move in any direction. Tap on the compass once to reset the view and orient the map again along the north-south axis.
To measure distance in Google Maps in a browser, right-click your starting point, select Measure Distance, and then click anywhere on the map to create a route to measure. In the Google Maps app, touch and hold a location, tap the place name, and then scroll down and tap Measure Distance. Move the map's crosshairs to your next location, tap Add (+), and then find the total distance at the bottom.
To drop a pin on Google Maps in a browser, right-click the location you want to pin and select Directions to Here. In the Google Maps mobile app, tap and hold the location you want to pin, and then the map pin will be created.
To download a Google Map for offline viewing on an iPhone, search for a location, tap the place name, and then tap More (three dots). Select Download offline map > Download. On an Android device, tap the place name, and then tap Download > Download. If you searched for something like a restaurant on an Android, tap More (three dots) > Download offline map > Download.
Google Maps is my favorite navigational tool, but sometimes it just doesn’t look right. Perhaps I can’t see something in the distance or, if I’m looking at another map, the one on Google Maps is facing the wrong way. Whatever the case may be, you need to know how to rotate Google Maps to correctly see and navigate your routes.
To rotate a map on the Google Maps mobile application, place two fingers down on the map and spin them around clockwise or counterclockwise while holding the phone stationary. Your map will be manipulated according to the direction of your multi-touch input.
JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS
How to rotate Google Maps (Android and iOS)
If you want to manipulate your on-screen map on Google Maps, it is straightforward to do on your Android or iOS device. It will allow you to see your available routes better and look at the map from the direction you’re facing.
Open the Google Maps app and place two of your fingers down anywhere on the map to rotate it.
- Pinching your fingers inwards will zoom out on the map.
- Pushing your fingers outwards, away from each other, will zoom in on the map.
- If you twist your fingers, meaning that you spin them clockwise or counterclockwise, you will rotate your map on Google Maps.
This tip also applies to the navigational screen, which has directions and how far you are away from your destination. After you have found the directions to where you want to go, press Start to enter the navigational screen and start making your way to your destination. The Google Maps voice will start telling you where to go.
Place two fingers down on the screen anywhere and then turn them. Your map will rotate according to the direction of your multi-touch inputs.
How to rotate Google Maps (desktop)
Rotating a Google map on your desktop is just as easy as your phone. However, there are a few things that you must make sure are enabled before you can rotate the map at all.
Go to the Google Maps website in your browser. If you have it installed on your computer, you can open it this way too.
Move your cursor over the Layers button in the bottom left. From the small menu that pops out, click More.
- In the More menu, click Globe view and Satellite. These two options must be active to be able to rotate Google Maps.
Your map view will change. Everything on Google Maps will now look true to life, and, more importantly, there will be a small compass in the bottom right corner of the screen. When you see this compass, that means you can start rotating Google Maps.
There are two primary ways for you to rotate the map in front of you:
- Hold down Ctrl, then left-click anywhere on the map. While holding down your left-click, drag your cursor around to rotate the map.
- Click the small arrows spinning around the compass in the bottom right.
Which way is north on Google Maps?
As long as you have Globe view and Satellite active, Google Maps provides a compass in the bottom right corner of the screen. The red side of the needle will always be pointing north, while the white side of the needle points south.
The same goes for Android and iOS devices using Google Maps. There is a compass in the top right corner of the map, underneath the layers button. If you cannot see the compass, use two fingers to start rotating the map; the compass will subsequently appear.
Google Maps receives features like indoor AR Live View, Air and Weather information with the latest update.
Photo Credit: Google
Google Maps has added the Compass widget on the right side of the screen
- Google Maps removed Compass from Android in 2019
- Compass was always available on Maps for iOS
- Google is also bringing more eco-friendly routes to Maps
Google Maps is relaunching the Compass feature for Android users. The feature was first removed in 2019 due to reliability issues but because of constant feedback from users, it is now returning. However, Google Maps for iOS didn’t lose the Compass feature and will still be available in the future. The Compass can be used in two formats – as a regular compass or it can point to North all the time. Along with this, Google recently announced a host of new features for Maps.
Announced through a post on Google Maps help forum, the search giant detailed that its Maps is getting the Compass back as a widget on the app. The Compass will be visible on the right side of the screen while a user is navigating to a destination. When the phone is rotated in any direction, the red arrow will always point north. The post also specified that for users to experience Compass, they would require Google Maps version 10.62 or higher. The feature was never removed for iOS users but was removed from Android in 2019.
Google also announced through a blog post that it is introducing some new features for Maps. These include: Indoor AR navigation: This will allow users to use Maps Live View indoors at places like airports, malls, and transit stations. Weather and air quality information: This will allow users to quickly view the current and forecasted weather and air conditions of an area. Grocery pickup integration: Users will be able to view grocery stores online. It will also let them place orders directly and schedule delivery/ pick-ups. The feature will be integrated through Google Search.
More Electric Vehicle-friendly routes for navigation: Google is trying to help curb climate change and it will now offer more eco-friendly routes that will show more Electric Vehicle charging points. It will also look for routes that are optimised for lower fuel consumption.
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iPhone has a hidden Compass that can be added to Apple Maps. If this appears interesting, you will find below the steps to Show Compass in Apple Maps on iPhone and iPad.
Show Compass in Apple Maps on iPhone
While it is easy to follow the directions provided by the Maps App on iPhone, adding a Compass to the Apple’s Maps App can help in developing and improving a sense of direction.
Even if you do not find the idea of Showing Compass in Apple Maps useful, you might be interested in knowing the steps to Enable Compass in Apple Maps for educational and recreational use.
You need to be aware that the accuracy of Compass in Apple Maps can be influenced by surrounding magnetic interferences, including the Magnets in your AirPods and other devices around you.
1. Enable Compass in Apple Maps On iPhone or iPad
Follow the steps below to Show Compass in Apple Maps on your iPhone or iPad.
1. Open Settings on your iPhone > scroll down and tap on Maps .
2. On the Maps screen, scroll down and tap on Driving option, located under “Directions” section.
3. On the next screen, enable the option for Compass by moving the toggle to ON position.
2. Show Compass in Apple Maps
Even after enabling Compass in Apple Maps, you won’t be able to see the Compass, unless you double-tap on the Direction Icon in Apple Maps
Open Maps App on iPhone and double-tap on Location Arrow icon to activate the Compass in Apple Maps.
Once you tap twice on Location Arrow, you will immediately see Compass Icon appearing in Apple Maps.
You can dismiss or remove the Compass from Apple Maps by tapping once on the Location Arrow .
Difference between True North and Magnetic North?
The Compass in Apple Maps can be configured to show both True North and Magnetic North directions.
True North: Is also known as “Geodetic North” and it points directions along the Earth’s surface towards Geographic North Pole.
Magnetic North: Points directions towards the Magnetic North Pole on your iPhone’s Compass. Magnetic North Pole can be defined as a point in the Northern Hemisphere at which Earth’s Magnetic Field points vertically downwards.
Also, True North differs a bit (few Arc seconds) from Astronomical True North due to the local gravity not always pointing to the exact rotational axis of the Earth.
If this sounds complicated, you just need to know that it is recommended to set iPhone to use True North and not the Magnetic North.
1. Open Settings > scroll down and tap on Compass .
2. On the next screen, enable the option for Use True North by moving the toggle to ON position.
Note: Disabling the setting for “Use True North” will make iPhone use the Magnetic North.
Although, it is recommended to use True North Setting on iPhone, the GPS on iPhone will still be accurate, even if you decide to use Magnetic North.
Gone are the days when people used to carry a paper map and used to wander cluelessly around new places. In this digital era, they have smartphones with Google Maps in their pockets.
Google Maps is an excellent way of easily and quickly orientating yourself in unaware areas. And that could be more convenient if the Google Maps correctly shows you which direction you are facing.
Below, we will discuss what is the compass, how to use it and how you can calibrate it on Google Maps in Android and iPhone.
What is a Compass?
A compass is an important tool that helps you find out what direction you are facing. It contains a good quality geographical map of the area you're navigating, understanding how to use a compass ensures that you're never missed.
Basics of Compass
Learn to identify the essential components of the compass, take a precise reading of bearings, and start improving the basic skills of navigation with a few simple steps.
Understand the basic layout of the compass: Different types of compasses have different designs, but they all include a magnetic needle that orientates itself to the directions and fields in the Earth. The basic compass is also known as a baseplate compass, which includes various effective features and components such as compass housing, the direction of travel arrow, degree dial, magnetic needle, orienting arrow and lines and many more that you should familiarize yourself with.
Correctly hold the compass: The proper compass stance is placing it on your palm and your palm in front of your chest. Place the compass on a map placed on a flat surface when you are consulting a direction.
Find out which direction you are facing: Turn the degree dial until the orienting arrow points towards North and find out which direction you are facing by finding out the direction of the travel arrow.
After learning the basics of the compass, let us find out how you can calibrate your map with compass and how you can use it.
How to calibrate the map with compass on Android?
Calibrating the map with compass might sound tough, but it isn’t, as it doesn’t consist of going into any settings, through some strange commands, or making changes to your phone. Follow below mentioned easy steps to calibrate your map with compass.
- Open Google Maps App on your Android phone and follow the prompts to get the correct location reading
- Tap the blue dot on the map
- Tap Calibrate compass at the bottom-left corner of the screen
- Tilt your phone in the pattern on the screen and follow the pattern three times to properly calibrate the compass
- Tap Done
You have successfully calibrated the map with compass on your android phone. It will display more accurate results now.
How to calibrate the map with compass on the iPhone?
Calibrating a map with compass on the iPhone is an easy task. Follow the 3 steps mentioned below and get this done right away.
Step 1: Enabling Location Services
- Open your iPhone ‘Settings’
- Tap ‘Privacy’ in the dropdown menu
- Tap ‘Location Services’ and turn them on
- Scroll down and tap ‘Google Maps’
- Select Location Preferences as ‘Always’
Step 2: Calibrating map with compass
- Open your iPhone ‘Settings’
- Scroll down and tap ‘Privacy’
- Tap ‘Location Services’ and turn them on
- Scroll down and tap ‘System Services’
- Turn on the ‘Compass Calibration’
- Open the Compass App, which looks like a solid black circle inside a larger circle
- Tilt your phone screen and move the red ball around the circle. Once it reaches its starting point, it’s done
You should now see the accurate direction using your compass on the iPhone, and you don’t need to continue with this method multiple times.
How to Use a Compass?
After learning the basics and how you can calibrate your map with compass, you should learn about how you can use it.
- Gather your bearings to know the direction that you're facing
- Continue to move in the same direction
- Focus on spots in the distance
- Change your direction of travel onto the map
- Learn to take bearings from the map
- Use the new bearing to navigate
In the beginning part of the article, you learned about how to calibrate your map with compass in either of the smartphones you have – Android or iPhone. And now you know how to use it and find out the directions that you are facing, or you want to go for.
Using Google Maps on your phones is way too simple and calibrating your map with compass becomes simple after you go through this article. The process is round about the same for both iPhone and Android users — wave your device frequently around in a figure-of-eight motion until your direction narrows down.
Once you’re done with a couple of these motions, the maps should perfectly respond to your movements. Wave your phone around carefully and make sure it doesn’t come flying out of your hand!
Calibrating your map with compass and getting the accurate directions is the start of the fun that you can have by using the world’s biggest navigation app. Go on!
Usually, you’re looking for directions from your current location. But what if you need to change your starting point or ad multiple destinations to your route? We’ve got you covered. While you can’t currently plan a multi-stop trip in Apple’s Maps app, you can create a complex route using Google Maps. You can change your starting Location using Apple or Google Maps. Here’s how to get directions from a starting point that is not your current location in Apple and Google Maps and how to plan a multi-stop trip using Google Maps.
How to Get Directions from a Place That Is Not Your Current Location
Open the Apple Maps app on your iPhone.
Either search for the location or enter the address for your ‘Point A’ or ‘Point B’.
Maps will assume you want to travel to ‘Point B’ from your Current Location. Tap My Location.
Enter your From location.
If you need to, tap the up and down arrows to switch your ‘Point A’ and ‘Point B’ around.
Select the route you want to use; otherwise Maps will automatically select the quickest route.
Tap GO to begin.
How to Add Multiple Stops in Google Maps
- Open Google Maps and type in your destination.
- Tap Directions.
- Enter your Starting Point.
- To add another destination, tap the three dots to the right of your Starting Point.
- Select Add Stop from the list of options and enter your second destination.
- To change the destination order, simply drag a destination using the three horizontal bars to the left of that destination.
That’s how to change your starting destination in Apple Maps and how to plan a multi-stop vacation using Google Maps on your iPhone. Happy trails!
*This tip has been updated for iOS 11.
Top image credit: Ellica / Shutterstock.com
Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She’s always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite – the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at abbeydufoe.com.
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When planning an Orientation and Mobility trip with a student, it is essential to consider which type of transportation that they would like to take (Read about route planning). When planning on using the city bus or train, the Google Maps app is extremely helpful. In most areas, especially metropolitan areas, the Google maps app allows users to set departure times. This is helpful when route planning because a majority of the time trip planning is done in advance. With that in mind, it is helpful to use the departure times feature.
- Open the Google Maps app.
- At the top of the screen, tap and enter the address or name of the public destination that you want to travel to (View tips for riding a bus).
- On the bottom left side of the screen, tap on the directions button.
- Across the top of the directions page, you will see transportation options just below the Your Location and destination search bars. Swipe left or right through the transportation options until you see the transit icon.
- Just below the transit options, you will see “Depart at…”. Tap on “Depart at…”, and adjust the time that you wish to depart. Use the Picker Item to choose the date and time that you would like to depart for your trip, then tap Done.
- In the same area where you see “Depart at…”, you will see the word OPTIONS on the right side. Tap Options to bring up a list of Route Options that currently include Preferred Modes of travel (Bus, Train, Subway) and Route Options (Best Route, Few Transfers, Less Walking, Wheelchair Accessible). You can customize the aforementioned options as you wish.
- When you return to the directions page, you will see a list of travel route options. Tap on the desired option. On the next page you will see a detailed list of instructions for your trip. If you tap on the up/down arrows next to a set of travel instructions, the list will expand showing more details of the stops after your pickup location. If you tap on the first set of instructions that have a small arrow pointing to the right beside it, a list of bus departure times will show up. For example, when you tap on the bus departure time, you can access all of the times and locations that bus stops before and after your pickup time. The same applies to train directions.
- At the bottom of the directions page, you have the option to add the route to the Calendar app on iOS or to Google Calendar. You also have the option to Add a Google Maps reminder. Here you have the option to toggle on a reminder to leave on time as well as an option to set a transfer reminder.
- At the very bottom of the directions page you can tap on the contact information for the transit agency (website and phone number).
Empowering our students (and clients) to strive for independence is one of the most important points for transition. For more Google Maps app travel tips and tricks, check out the following video:
Do you have any tips for helping your students and/or clients use digital maps in a more independent way? Please share below.
You can use a map chart to compare values and show categories across geographical regions. Use it when you have geographical regions in your data, like countries/regions, states, counties or postal codes.
Note: This feature is available on Windows or Mac if you have Office 2019, or if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription. If you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.
Download our examples
Map charts can display both values and categories, and they each have different ways of displaying color. Values are represented by slight variations of two to three colors. Categories are represented by different colors.
For example, the Countries by Tax Revenue % chart below uses values. The values represent tax revenue in each country with each portrayed using a gradient spectrum of two colors. The color for each region is dictated by where along the spectrum its value falls. By default, the higher the value is, the darker its corresponding color will be.
In the following example, Countries by Category, the categories are displayed using a standard legend to show groups or affiliations. Each country is represented by a different color.
Create a Map chart with Data Types
Map charts have gotten even easier with geography data types. Simply input a list of geographic values, such as country, state, county, city, postal code, and so on, then select your list and go to the Data tab > Data Types > Geography. Excel will automatically convert your data to a geography data type, and will include properties relevant to that data that you can display in a map chart. In the following example, we’ve converted a list of countries to geography data types, then selected the Tax revenue (%) field from the Add Column control to use in our map.
Now it’s time to create a map chart, so select any cell within the data range, then go to the Insert tab > Charts > Maps > Filled Map.
If the preview looks good, then press OK. Depending on your data, Excel will insert either a value or category map.
Tip: If your data is set up as an Excel table, and then you add a country to the list, Excel will automatically update it as a geography data type and update the linked map chart. Similarly, if you remove a country, then Excel will also remove it from the chart.
Formatting your Map chart
Once your map chart has been created you can easily adjust its design. Just click on the map, then choose from the Chart Design or Format tabs in the ribbon. You can also double-click the chart to launch the Format Object Task Pane, which will appear on the right-hand side of the Excel window. This will also expose the map chart specific Series options (see below).
There are several map chart specific Series options, however they are not supported in Android devices or Excel Mobile. If you need some of the map Series options, then you can build your chart in Excel for Windows or Mac and view it on an Android device or Excel Mobile.
Map projections – Change the map’s projection style. By default, Excel will display the most efficient style.
Map area – Change the map’s Zoom level, ranging from a state/province view, all the way to the world view.
Map labels – Show geographic names for your countries/regions. Chose to show names based on fit, or show all labels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: When I use certain text-based locations, I end up with a blank map and an error, or some of my points map in other countries.
Answer: If you use data where there might be more than one similar location in the world, map charts can’t necessarily tell the difference without more guidance. If possible, add a higher-level detail column to your data. For example, the following locations won’t necessarily map the way you expect since there are many places in the world where these are valid county names:
But the data should map correctly if you add another column for higher-level detail, in this case, Province – This is called Disambiguation:
When there are multiple levels of geographic details, you must separate each level into its own cell/column. For example, “Washington, United States” (State, Country) will not successfully generate a map. In this instance, the data will map successfully when placing “Washington” and “United States” into separate columns.
Data that won’t map (State and Country are combined)
Data that will create a map of Washington State
Map charts can only plot high-level geographic details, so latitude/longitude, and street address mapping isn’t supported. Map charts also support one-dimensional display only, but if you need multi-dimensional detail you can use Excel’s 3D Map feature.
Creating new maps, or appending data to existing maps requires an online connection (to connect to the Bing Map service).
Existing maps can be viewed without an online connection.
There is a known issue where Map Charts which make use of Geography Data Types can sometimes map incorrectly. Please try to include Admin Fields, such as Province or Country when attempting to plot these until the problem is fixed.
Need more help?
You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community or get support in the Answers community.
If there’s anything all those out-of-town road trips have taught explorers is that you cannot take GPS navigation for granted. Sure, Google Maps works like a charm when you have a solid data connection, but seamless connectivity is never a given when you are zipping down the road less traveled. And don’t even get us started on the data-rationing explorers are forced to do while traveling to a foreign country. Thankfully, there are plenty of mapping and navigation apps that work well even when without an Internet connection. So, here’s our pick of the best offline GPS apps for your Android or iOS phone:
Google Maps Offline
Let’s begin with the navigation app that comes pre-loaded on all Android phones. Perhaps the most under-utilized capability of Google Maps is its offline maps feature. You can download the area of your interest using a strong Wi-Fi connection and save it to either your device or an SD card, as per your preference. Of course, you will not receive any traffic updates while using the offline version but you still get access to useful information like public transit options and timings – pretty useful while traveling abroad, if you ask us. While scheduling downloads, keep in mind a cached map will expire after 30 days.
Sygic GPS Navigation & Offline Maps
Getting its data from TomTom and other mapping providers, Sygic is a hugely popular navigation app which offers 3D map view to offline users. Those who have used Sygic swear by its intuitive UI and advanced safety features. Its offline maps come packed with super-useful information like upcoming speed limit changes and Dynamic Lane Assistant to guide you into the correct lane – again, very handy for those driving in a foreign city. And you also get voice-guided GPS navigation with precise directions and street names in the offline version. For pedestrians, Sygic offers walking directions and a compilation of thousands of tourist attractions.
HERE WeGo Offline Maps & GPS
One of the biggest competitors to Google Maps, HERE WeGo is a popular offline navigation app amongst international travelers with limited data plans. You can download offline maps of more than 100 countries in the world and enjoy voice/walk guidance without a single cell signal. Its beautiful interface and reliable GPS navigation have made HERE WeGo an Editor’s Choice app on the Android Play Store. And with public transit information for 1,300 cities available inside the app, you can find out everything from the timings and prices of bus/subway tickets to taxi fares and traffic hotspots. For bikers, the app offers a handy guide on the terrain, explaining how flat or hilly the bike ride will be.
OsmAnd Offline Travel Maps & Navigation
A product of collaboration between two open-source platforms – OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia – OsmAnd allows you to download seven map files for free for offline navigation. Depending on your usage and device memory space, you can choose between complete map data and just road network data. For example, a complete map of Japan needs 700 MB, while the road network requires just 200 MB. Apt for outdoor activities, the offline maps by OsmAnd have all the deets on foot, hiking, and bike paths. And since it’s an open-source project, you can also contribute by reporting bugs or adding points of interest and uploading them once you are back online.
Another navigation app built off OpenStreetMap data, Maps.me comes without any in-app purchases or download limits on its carefully optimized offline maps. But while the maps and features inside the app are all free to use, you may see some ads pop-up – nothing too intrusive though. For offline navigation, Maps.me supports driving, walking, public transit, and cycling modes. You can also get the directions to points of interest (POI) around you, hiking trails and awesome local places missing from other commercial maps.
Have you been using offline maps for navigation? Do you have a favorite not covered by our list? Let us know in the comments section!
Once you tap it, you’ll be taken to a 3D, overhead view of the city. You can move your phone around to look at your surroundings, or slide your finger around to travel and find major landmarks.
Flyover will even take you on a tour if you just let it run without interfering, or simply tap the Start City Tour button. Use this to see places you might like to visit and figure out if they’re near each other so you can better plan your next trip.
2. See where you’re going from all angles
Maybe you’d like a three-dimensional view of more places so you can know in advance if a walk is going to be especially strenuous. Lucky for you, Apple Maps has a 3D viewing mode.
You can see a 3D map with a button in the top right corner. Just tap that 2D/3D button when you’re zoomed in enough to see building outlines and your view will suddenly angle, revealing how tall those buildings are. To exit this view, simply tap the 2D button.
3. Know you’re going in the right direction
Say you’re camping, hiking or you need to head north. Tap or click here to learn about the best gadgets for your outdoor adventures. You can always use the compass app on your phone, but if you need a map at the same time just add a compass to your Apple Maps screen.
To add a compass, tap on the location icon (the one that looks like an arrowhead) in the top right corner of your screen. The icon will fill in, and Maps will show you where you’re currently located. Tap on the location icon a second time and the compass will appear.
As you move, the compass will adjust itself to keep pointing north, keeping you on your trail, or helping you know if you’re heading uptown or downtown. If you want to send the compass away, just tap it and it will disappear.
4. Always know where a rest stop is
On a long road trip, sometimes you need an unplanned bathroom break or a quick bite to eat. Apple Maps can help you find stops that won’t take you too far off your path.
While following directions in Apple Maps, swipe up on the panel at the bottom of your screen. You’ll see buttons labeled Gas Stations, Breakfast (or whatever meal is appropriate that time of day) and Coffee.
Tap the button you need, and Apple Maps will show you the closest places that fit the category. Tap on one of the locations that pops up and Apple Maps will navigate you there, as well as navigate you back to your original route.
5. Drive the way you want to
If you want a more scenic, leisurely drive on your next trip, or if you want to keep costs down by avoiding tolls, Apple Maps can be adjusted to help. It automatically gives you the quickest route, but to turn this feature off, head to your Settings. Tap or click here to learn about other creative ways drivers avoid tolls.
In Settings, go to Maps, then Driving & Navigation. Turn the Tolls and Highway switches off to avoid them, and on to use them. You might have to change these defaults for each trip, but at least you have the option to do so.
6. Plan on one device, navigate on another
Ever plan a trip on your computer then have to re-navigate through your phone later? You can still print directions, but you’re better off saving ink and sending those directions right to your phone or tablet instead.
When you’re in Apple Maps in macOS and have a route you like, click the share button at the top of the window (the one with an arrow pointing up out of a box), and click Send to [phone or tablet name] from the menu that drops down. This will be an option so long as both devices are logged in to the same Apple ID.
Your phone or tablet will then prompt you to accept the directions. Accept them, and your route will be right there in your mobile Apple Maps.
7. Let people know where you are
It can be hard to let a friend know if you’re going to be late meeting them without calling or texting, which is horribly unsafe when you’re driving. Tap or click here to learn about the tragedies of texting while driving. Thankfully, Apple Maps has a trick to help.
You can share how much time is left in your Apple Maps navigation by swiping up on the info panel, and tapping the Share ETA button. Maps will pull up your five most recent contacts, and a Contacts button that lets you access your contact list.
Tap on the person, or people, you want to send your ETA to, and they’ll receive the information as a text message. They’ll be able to see your ETA as it updates until you tap them again, or reach your destination.
Set this up before you hit the road to avoid using your phone while you’re driving. It’s just safer.
8. Always know where you parked
If you navigate by connecting your iPhone to your vehicle’s Bluetooth or CarPlay, you can always know where you parked with Apple Maps. Tap or click here to learn 3 ways to add Bluetooth to older cars. You just have to enable two functions on your phone to do it.
First, you have to turn on Significant Locations in your Settings. In Settings, go to Privacy, then Location Services and System Services, then tap the Significant Locations menu to turn it on. You may need to use your passcode to get in).
Next, go back to your general Settings, and go to Maps. Make sure the Show Parked Location switch is turned on.
The next time you park and disconnect your iPhone from Bluetooth or CarPlay, Maps will mark the location of your car. You can edit this location by tapping on the Parked Car icon (the white car with a blue background) and moving it around. You can add a photo of your parked car here, too.
If you lose your car in a large parking lot, open Apple Maps and tap the search field, then type “Parked Car,” or simply select the icon. Apple Maps will give you directions to find your vehicle.
Apple Maps is full of surprises! Who knew it offered so many features? So maybe next time you hit the road, consider trying it out with some of these tips.
Google announced a few major changes for Google Maps this week, revealing that it will use AI to improve directions and navigation. Directions will now consider the ride’s carbon footprint, allowing people to choose eco-friendly routes that consume the least amount of fuel. Google Maps will also display all of the modes of transportation available to the destination in one place, and will offer users weather and air quality layers in the app.
Another notable upgrade concerns the Live View AR layer, which will start working indoors in select malls, airports, and train stations. These features will roll out on Android and iPhone, although they won’t be available to all users right away. Some of them will hit Android first, and some will only launch in the US initially. But Google Maps users won’t have to wait long to take advantage of a feature they’ve been asking Google to bring back for years.
The compass is finally back on the Android app.
Google removed the compass from the Android version of Google Maps in January 2019 due to reliability issues. Initially, Google experimented with hiding the feature from the Google Maps user interface for some users. Two months later, the compass was removed entirely. Since then, Google Maps users have been complaining about the missing compass all over the internet, asking Google to bring it back. The feature remained available on iPhone.
A Google Maps community manager confirmed the massive interest in the compass feature earlier this week and revealed that it is about to make its triumphant return:
You wanted it and we heard you! We’re excited to announce the return of the compass on Maps for Android. The compass was removed from Maps for Android in early 2019 in an effort to clean up the Navigation screen but due to overwhelming support it’s back!
The compass widget will reappear on the right side of the screen when you’re using Maps to navigate to your destination. The red arrow should always point north. Android Police says that the feature is still unreliable, and might still fail to indicate the correct direction even after calibration. That’s something to keep in mind when using the compass inside Google Maps.
Google said that the compass is back on Android devices running Google Maps 10.62. Android Police says that the compass might appear on older versions of Maps as well, and that it might still be glitchy. The compass might disappear and reappear on the screen. Google Maps users on iPhone do not need to do anything to get the compass back, as Google never removed the UI widget from the iOS app. Just start navigation, and it’ll still be there.
Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Google maps is a free online map service by Google. It provides detailed information about different locations, geographical sites, areas around the world. It not only provides a satellite view of the Earth but also shows various road maps, pathways, and offers an aerial view of the places. It can even provide live images/videos of places with the vehicles in movement! Ever wondered how your house looks from above? Enter the longitudes and latitudes and Google maps will show it to you. The world first got to know about Google maps in February 2005. Created by Lars Rasmussen and Jens Rasmussen, it is available in more than 70 languages.
This amazing web application also provides a lot many options like:
1. Directional routes to different places
2. Traffic on roads for you to choose the best possible way to your destination
3. Live navigation to your destination
4. Live location sharing
5. Supplement images of cosmic objects for people interested in astronomy
With these many options to choose from, there are also many features that Google maps include. You can zoom in to a location, zoom out, rotate and do much more than that!
One common question that arises, yet, is why does not Google maps or any other maps for that instance rotate with ease?
This is because the maps are made out of pixels and set at a particular angle (45°) in one standard direction, i.e. north. These pixels, when you download the map, takes the form of an image-making it unable to rotate in the street/2D view. Thus, it is always important to check whether the map is set in 2D or 3D viewing mode.
How to Rotate Google Maps?
Well, there are a few very easy ways to do so. These ways differ for Google maps on a PC and Google maps on a smartphone.
If you are looking for how to rotate Google maps on a smartphone, these are the steps:
1. Launch Google Maps on your smartphone
2. Enter the location/turn on the navigation/search for something according to your preference
3. Put two fingers on the screen and rotate the fingers as per your choice
This is the easiest way to rotate Google maps on a smartphone, or in general.
To rotate Google maps on a computer, these are the steps-
1. Launch Google Maps on your PC
2. Find the three dashes on the top left side of your screen
3. A list will appear. Select satellite view from the list
4. Now on the screen, you would find many arrows. Rotate the maps using those arrows as per your preference
5. You can now rotate the maps
Another option is to press the control key and with the help of your mouse rotate the maps in the satellite view itself.
Note: Remember, if you wish to rotate Google maps on a PC, make sure that the maps are in aerial/satellite view and not street view. The above steps are considering the map to be in satellite view.
iOS 15 is here — and with it an improved navigation system that goes toe-to-toe with Google Maps.
Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
With iOS 15, Apple Maps has a new look, but only if you’re in one of a handful of select cities.
Remember when Apple Maps first launched as the iPhone’s native navigation app? After years of Google Maps on iPhone, Apple’s move to make its own app the default instead of Google Maps was a disaster . But now iOS 15 for iPhone and iPadOS are here (how to download iOS 15 now ) and Apple Maps has caught up. In some ways you might think it’s even surpassed Google Maps.
That’s a bold statement, I know. But Google has some tips it can now pick up from its arch rival. Don’t believe me? Fire up iOS 15 and read through my list of notable improvements to Apple Maps below.
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Apple Maps brings confidence with turn-by-turn directions
Currently, when Apple Maps gives turn-by-turn directions, you’re routinely provided with more precise directions such as “turn right in two stoplights” or some other reference to a landmark. Getting more precise instructions from your phone provides more confidence in the route that Apple Maps is taking you on.
When you start using Apple Maps in iOS 15 to get turn-by-turn driving directions, you’ll see a brand-new look that will add even more confidence. For example, you’ll be able to better identify accidents, traffic jams or construction with a quick glance at your phone’s screen as you follow the route.
Adding to the accuracy, there’s a new 3D model that the typical 2D map transitions to as you approach an interchange, making it easier to see exactly where you’re supposed to go instead of guessing which lane is the true lane that’s second from the right.
Also worth noting, Apple says it’ll be easier to identify bike, bus, turn and taxi lanes, along with medians and crosswalks in the new Apple Maps. If you can visualize where you’re supposed to go, along with the current features of hearing specifics, driving in new cities will be less stressful.
When you get to a complicated interchange, you’ll see a new 3D model to show you precisely where to go.
Transit, search improvements and more coming to Apple Maps
There are more features coming to Apple Maps in iOS 15, like an improved transit experience that will send alerts as you near your stop, and allow you to mark your favorite routes so they’re always at the top of your screen. Or if you’d rather, you can quickly look at all nearby departures to see when you need to start your journey.
Apple is also starting to curate its own Guides that detail venues and businesses you should visit when in a new city. This is clearly an area where Apple needs to do some more work to catch up to Google Maps and its reviews of businesses, but it’s a step in the right direction.
You’ll also see improvements to searching in Maps with more filters (e.g., Does that place down the street take credit cards?) and information about businesses.
Apple Maps now has a user settings panel where you can find all of your old reviews, preferences and more.
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Apple Maps has a new preferences section
Using Apple Maps prior to iOS 15 meant that you constantly had to change the mode of transportation when getting directions or figure out where to find locations you’d favorited, and it often felt like a chore when doing so.
With iOS 15, Apple Maps now has a profile page for you to alter your personal travel preferences and find all of your Apple Maps-related data in one place.
To view your user account in Apple Maps, tap on your profile avatar. You’ll see a list of the various options, including any reviews you’ve left for a business, your favorite locations, any city guides you’ve created and a Preferences page.
iOS 15 will be out this fall, likely in September, and will come with all of these new Apple Maps features plus so much more.
Apple Maps put the world in the palm of your hand
This feature may not help you daily, but it’s something fun to point out nonetheless. Once you have iOS 15 installed, try this: Open Apple Maps and zoom out. Zoom out some more, and then keep zooming out until you’re staring at planet Earth. Apple added an interactive globe to Apple Maps. That means you can spin the globe, only instead of seeing a static image of it, it’ll change to match the time of day in various parts of the world.
It’s pretty fun to look at and use. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m jealous that my kids will learn geography like this instead of on a paper map or old-fashioned plastic globe. Try zooming out like that on Google Maps, and you’ll find a flat map of Earth. There’s a joke to be made here, but I’ll leave it alone.
We’ll keep digging through Apple Maps and the rest of iOS 15, for that matter, and share what we discover. For example, we’ve already found several new features everyone is sure to love . But my favorite features are hidden, and of course, I found some of those, too .
Google Maps is bringing back the compass symbol to the Android app after it was culled two years ago (Image: GOOGLE • GETTY)
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Google is bowing to pressure from fans and restoring the compass to the Android version of Google Maps. The small compass icon, which appears on the right hand-side of the screen when using turn-by-turn navigation, was scrapped from the Android version of the app back in early 2019. At the time, Google said the decision was made to “clean up the Navigation screen”.
Bafflingly, the compass was never dropped from the iOS version of Google Maps. So, Apple handsets with much smaller screens than the average on Android – like the iPhone SE, with its 4.7-inch display – was still able to find room for the compass, while Android flagships – like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, with its humongous 6.9-inch screen – couldn’t fit it in.
Given that Android is developed by Google, it seems odd that its own software would be the one to lose out on a feature like this. Some have cited this decision as an example of Google treating its own Android customers as second-class citizens compared with the iPhone, which has fewer users worldwide than Android.
Whatever the reason behind the decision, Google seems to have seen the error of its ways.
As spotted by Android Police, Google has confirmed in an official support thread that it will be bringing back the compass icon to all Android smartphones with an update to its app soon. Writing in the support thread, a Google spokesman said: “You wanted it and we heard you! We’re excited to announce the return of the compass on Maps for Android. The compass was removed from Maps for Android in early 2019 in an effort to clean up the Navigation screen but due to overwhelming support it’s back!”
When launching turn-by-turn directions, the small compass symbol will be present and correct again (Image: GOOGLE)
Don’t expect to see the compass every time you launch Google Maps. The symbol will only appear when you begin a new journey and enter the turn-by-turn navigation screen. It will re-appear exactly where it used to be – on the right-hand side of the screen beneath the buttons for volume and search.
As you’d expect, the red arrow in the compass icon will always point north.
So, if you’re one of those who have been clamouring for Google to resurrect this feature, you’ll now be able to check the direction you’re facing while navigating with a quick glance. According to Google, the feature should be restored in Google Maps version 10.62. So, if you’re not running the latest iteration of the app, head to the Google Play Store and download the update now.
The news comes as Google announced 100 new AI-powered features coming to Google Maps in the coming months. It highlighted some of the biggest new additions, which include being able to pick a route that will use less fuel – saving the planet with your next road trip.
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After several years of iterations and improvements, Apple Maps has become a solid app and a viable Google Maps alternative for getting GPS-based directions to navigate journeys by car, public transport, bicycle, and on foot.
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Depending on the journey though, you may want to print off a list of turn-by-turn directions to refer to instead of relying on your iPhone and draining the battery. Or you might just want to see the list of directions onscreen to familiarize yourself with them ahead of time. This article shows you how it’s done.
Directions Between Your Current Location and a Destination
- Launch the Maps app on your iPhone and enter the destination you want turn-based guidance for.
- Select a method of transport using the icons at the top of the route card, then tap Go on one of the routes that interests you. alt=”maps directions list 1″ width=”2000″ height=”1961″ />
- On the next screen, tap on the black bar at the top of the display. alt=”maps directions list 2″ width=”2000″ height=”1961″ />
- You’ll see the full list of turn-based directions. Tap again to clear it and go back to the turn-by-turn directions view.
Directions Between a Separate Location and a Destination
If you’re routing between two locations and one of those locations is not your current location, the interface looks a little bit different. Rather than pulling down to get to the directions, you can tap up on the arrow to see full details and get an option to print the directions.
- Launch the Maps app on your iPhone and enter the destination you want turn-based guidance for.
- Select a method of transport using the icons at the top of the route card, then tap Go on one of the routes that interests you.
- On the next screen, tap the upward-facing chevron at the bottom-right corner of the screen. alt=”maps” width=”2860″ height=”2700″ />
In iOS 15, has brought several major improvements to the Maps app, with better driving directions, improved transit directions, and more immersive AR-based walking directions. For more information on what’s new, be sure to check out our dedicated Maps guide.