My Google Map Blog

Bear shop

by EffGee on Nov.20, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

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She doesn’t look impressed to see us

by Bort on Nov.19, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

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Find food and give back with Google

by Philipp Schindler on Nov.19, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

In Google’s early days, around this time every year, a group of us would run to Costco and buy supplies to take to Bay Area food banks and pantries. It was a grassroots effort that was scrappy and meaningful — and it introduced a lot of Googlers to how rewarding giving back can be. It made me want to learn what more we could do to have an even bigger impact.

Inspired by our small and mighty food donation operation, I became a passionate supporter of Second Harvest Food Bank in Silicon Valley. And with guidance from food assistance experts, we established a dedicated team at Google in 2020 to work on tackling issues of food waste and food insecurity. Too many families are having to make difficult decisions no one should be forced to make: paying rent, bills, healthcare costs — or keeping food on their table. These challenges have only been compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, which has left more than 54 million working Americans struggling to find a meal. That’s nearly 16% of the country.

Google co-founder Larry Page once said "people are starving in the world not because we don't have enough food. It's because we're not yet organized to solve that problem." The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) reports that the world produces more than we need to feed every person on this planet. This isn’t a problem of supply, it’s a problem of distribution. And while solving this issue will require work from government, businesses, nonprofits and individuals working together, one way Google can help is to give people easy access to the information they need, when they need it.

Helping people find food pantries

When you look at Google Search trends, you can see that searches for "food bank" and “food pantry” spike during the month of November.

Food banks have always been critical to making sure people have regular access to nutritious food, but the ongoing pandemic has drastically increased their role as a crucial lifeline in so many communities. With the need for their services doubling or even tripling in some areas, we want to make sure that the people who need them most can find them.

That’s why we’ve launched a new initiative to expand the information about food banks and pantries in Google Search and Maps. We’ve augmented existing coverage with data from two initial nonprofit partners: WhyHunger and Hunger Free America, and we’ve added information to make sure people searching for food support can find what they need. These changes are being made directly in Google Maps so food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens can focus on what matters most — getting people food.

Still, some of these locations don’t yet have websites or phone numbers available on Google. So over the last two months, we've worked to update this information in Search and Maps, making 85,000 plus calls to verify local food banks and pantries. These efforts will continue through the holidays.

Mobile image showing Google Search results for the query “food pantry near me.”

We’ve also developed new Google Business Profile features specifically for food banks, pantries and soup kitchens. They can now provide details on their profile, like whether an appointment is needed, if there are eligibility requirements to receive food and what languages are spoken. They can also add information about their services, like whether prepared meals are available or if grocery delivery is an option. Additionally, pantries can specify whether they’re accepting new volunteers or soliciting food or monetary donations.

Helping people access benefits

Beyond working with food pantries, we’re also helping people use Search to find out how to get and use food assistance benefits.

Federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) feed more than 40 million Americans each year. We heard from users that information about these programs is often hard to find, especially for people who are using them for the first time. Today, if you search on Google for “SNAP benefits,” or the name of your local SNAP program, you’ll find direct links to each state’s eligibility guidelines and application process, including contact information for local food assistance agencies.

Mobile image showing Google Search results for the query “SNAP benefits,” with details about program eligibility and links to apply for local programs.

Once approved, many people use Electronic Benefits Transfer cards (also known as EBT) to pay for their groceries. Now, if you search for “grocery stores that accept EBT” you can easily find USDA-approved stores that accept this form of payment — saving time and potential confusion.

Supporting hunger relief organizations – and the communities they serve

I’m also proud to announce that we’re contributing financial support as well. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Googlers have stepped up – giving more than $22 million in personal donations and company-match to hunger relief organizations in the U.S. Today, Google is contributing an additional $2 million in support ($1 million in cash funding and $1 million in donated ads from Google.org) to 20 food banks, pantries and innovative hunger relief organizations across the country.

There is no easy solution to these large-scale challenges that face our communities, but I’m hopeful that increasing access to information about local food support programs and services can help. Our teams are hard at work and committed to building new tools and features that support economic recovery in the U.S. – and around the world – as we weather the COVID-19 crisis. And I personally am really looking forward to getting back to sorting and distributing food with my family at our local food bank.

You can make an impact by volunteering your time, making a donation, using your voice, or a combination of each — there are a number of ways we can all give back. If you need a place to start, you can donate to the largest national network of food banks, Feeding America. Or you can get involved locally: just search for your nearest food pantry on Google and contact them to see what they need. And if you know someone who might need food assistance, you can simply help by sharing resources. Spreading the word not only about what you’re doing to help, but why can make a huge difference.

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Dromedary junk food

by fasa on Nov.18, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

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Got my attention

by StreetViewFun.com on Nov.18, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

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Weird BMW

by StreetViewFun.com on Nov.17, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

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9 mistletoe-tally helpful Google Maps tips

by Jack Frost on Nov.16, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

With November well under way, we candycane’t help but get excited for the holidays! Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, Google Maps has your back. We’ve compiled nine of our favorite tips — no matter what your holiday persona is — so you can sleigh your plans and to-do list this season.

For the person who already made their list and checked it twice:

1. Figure out the best time to leave: Holiday traffic can be unpredictable. To make sure you’re on time, get driving directions on Google Maps and tap the three dots on the right side of your screen. Set the time you’d like to arrive by to see how long it’ll take you to get to your destination.

2. Save money on gas: With eco-friendly routing, you can now choose the most fuel-efficient route to your destination. A quick search for “gas prices” shows you prices for nearby stations so you can pick the cheapest one.

3. Save time grocery shopping: Whether you’re grabbing a missing ingredient or stocking up before your in-laws arrive, pickup with Google Maps is the new grocery pickup experience that can get you in and out of the parking lot in less than five minutes. Simply place an online order from a participating Kroger Family store, then add it to Maps from your order confirmation page. This is currently available in the US only.

For the spontaneous shopper:

4. Search along your route: Forget a hostess gift? If you’re on the road, use Google Maps to search for malls, grocery stores and other places along your drive so you can tackle your tasks without going out of your way.

5. Tap and go with contactless payments: Avoid pulling out your wallet or touching a parking meter by paying for street parking or public transit right from Google Maps. When you’re out and about, just type in your meter number, hit pay and refill. If you’re taking public transit, you’ll see an option to pay as soon as you arrive at the station.

6. Find your way around malls, airports and transit stations fast: With the new Directory tab, you can easily see where all of the places are within a large building — like where the jewelry store is inside your local mall. With just a few taps, get helpful information about the place — such as if it's open now, what floor it's on, and how highly it's rated — so you can get in and out in no time.

For the holiday party hopper:

7. Find people and places with ease: If you’re strolling through a new neighborhood, let Live View guide your way with augmented reality arrows and directions overlaid right on top of your world. Meeting up with a friend who shared their location with you? Just tap on their icon and then on Live View to see where and how far away they are — and quickly follow the arrows to find them.

8. Share your ETA: ‘Tis the season to run between Friendsgiving meals and holiday parties. You can use Google Maps to let friends and family know exactly when they can expect you to arrive with just a few taps.

9. Find the fun (or hibernate far away from it) with live busyness information: Before you head out, search for a place on Google Maps and scroll down to see how busy it is right now so you can plan your social life accordingly. This holiday season, we’re also launching Area Busyness, a new tool stemming from the existing busyness feature, that shows you when parts of town are busier than usual, so you can know how to avoid those packed streets near hot brunch spots or see which neighborhoods are bustling with activity.

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Looking into things

by StreetViewFun.com on Nov.16, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

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Google Maps holiday trends worth mulling over

by Jack Frost on Nov.16, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

This holiday season, many of us are feeling more comfortable traveling to see loved ones, shopping in person and scoping out the things to do and places to visit.

As we continue to navigate this new normal, we took a look at Google Maps trends in the U.S. — from the most popular times to visit certain places to what foods Americans are ordering most — to help you make your list, check it twice and get through the holiday season safely, efficiently and joyfully.

No thyme for lines and crowds? No worries

Whether you’re shopping for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey or refilling your hand sanitizer supply, no one likes waiting in line. According to Google Maps data, these are the best and worst times to visit the grocery store, based on the live busyness information in Google Maps:

A chart showing the busiest time to visit grocery stores in the US is typically Sunday at 1pm and the least busy is Thursday at 8pm.

Last year we saw popular gift stores like Kay Jewelers, Bath & Body Works and Barnes & Noble trend in December, with Maps searches for these places increasing 100% from the month before. With expected shipping delays, it’s important to get ahead of your holiday shopping. Here are the best and worst times to fill your sleigh at shopping centers and department stores, according to Google Maps data:

A chart showing the busiest time to visit shopping centers in the US is typically Saturday at 1pm and the least busy is Tuesday at 8pm.

Once you’ve gathered all your gifts and written your cards, it’s time to head to the post office to spread holiday cheer. With fewer people traveling to meet up with loved ones, Maps searches for post offices were up nearly 150% month over month last December. Check out the best and worst times to visit the post office so you can get those holiday cards out without the hassle.

A chart showing the busiest time to visit post offices in the US is typically Tuesday at 3pm and the least busy is Saturday at 2pm.

After all that holiday hustle and bustle, it's time to treat yo’elf! According to Google Maps searches, people look for nail salons more than three times as much as they search for gyms in December. If you’re looking to get pampered at the salon, consider making your appointment at a less busy time:

A chart showing the busiest time to visit salons in the US is typically Saturday at 11am and the least busy is Monday and Tuesday at 7pm.

But wait, there’s myrrh. Once you know where you’re going, the next step is figuring out how you’ll get there — whether it's a plane, train or Polar Express.

According to Google Maps, it looks like Americans are getting back to familiar methods of transportation, with national interest in public transit up 40% compared to last year. This jump is higher in metros known for their public transportation: San Francisco leads the way with transit interest up nearly 95% compared to last year, followed by Washington D.C. (up nearly 75% since last year) and Chicago (up nearly 65% over the same period of time).

Should you choose to travel through the skies (red nose not included), book your travel around these least busy times:

A chart showing the busiest time to visit airports in the US is typically Saturday at 12 pm and the least busy is Saturday at 9 pm.

Eat, drink and be merry

While some people spend the holidays cooking up a storm, some of us like our meals like we like our presents: delivered. In fact, on Christmas Day, Americans search for food delivery options on Google Maps more than twice as much as on a typical Saturday.

Here’s a look at what food Americans search for and order on Google Maps during the holiday season:

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Keep it chill this holiday with new tools from Google Maps

by Amanda Leicht Moore on Nov.16, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

The holidays are right around the corner, and we’re starting to get santa-mental! This year, many places around the world are lifting restrictions — which means people are excited to celebrate with friends and family. To keep the coming weeks stress-free, we’re launching new Google Maps tools to help you stay safe, maximize your time with loved ones and find that perfect holiday brunch spot.

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