I use it for directions, of course, and daily for traffic. I use it to look for shortcuts, and I use it for street view so that I can recognize my destination when I get there.
Another great feature of Google Maps is the “near” feature. I was not very familiar with it, but now that I’m using it …… well, it’s simply invaluable.
Let’s say you are standing in Manhattan, near the Empire State Building. You want to visit a book store, but you have no clue of the name of any local book store let alone where one might be.
Google maps to the rescue.
Simply search for “book stores near (your location)” In this example case, I searched for “book stores near the Empire State Building” and the map below shows the result of that search. A bunch of book stores to explore!
This is obviously a great feature to have when you’re away from home, but lately I find myself using this trick at home, too, to discover unknown-to-me restaurants and other places.
Just search using your own address (or “me” if Google maps knows your home address):
“Mexican restaurants near me,” for example, and, poof! All kinds of new places to explore. 🙂