My Google Map Blog

Tag: search

Updates in Maps and Search to help during times of crisis

by Hannah Stulberg on Jun.06, 2019, 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

SOS alerts help you quickly access authoritative, real-time information during times of crisis. Today, we’re improving SOS alerts by adding visual information about natural disasters and a new navigation warning system on Google Maps so you can more reliably know where a disaster is and anticipate where it’s headed. Read on to learn about what’s changing, along with three ways to help you stay connected and informed during times of emergency.

Hurricane forecast cones, earthquake shakemaps and flood forecasts

With SOS alerts, you can already see important crisis information—a summary of what’s happening, relevant news stories, emergency phone numbers and websites, Twitter updates from local authorities, and tips to help you find your way to safety. Now, you’ll also be able to see detailed visualizations about hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods to give you a better understanding of the situation on the ground.

In the days leading up to a hurricane, you’ll see a crisis notification card on Google Maps that automatically appears if you’re near the impacted area. This card will direct you to a hurricane forecast cone, which shows the prediction of the storm’s trajectory along with information about what time it’s likely to hit certain areas, so you can use this information to plan how to react.

After an earthquake strikes, tapping on the crisis card will display the earthquake’s shakemap—a visualization that shows you its epicenter, its magnitude, along with color coding to indicate how intense the shaking was in surrounding areas. This information can help you quickly assess the reach of the earthquake and and identify areas likely to have experienced the highest impact.  And in India, where over 20 percent of global flood-related fatalities occur, you’ll now be able to see flood forecasts that show you where flooding is likely to occur in addition to the expected severity in different areas.





Crisis navigation warnings on Google Maps

Later this summer, you’ll see a prominent alert if we think your route may be affected by crisis activity— and when possible, we’ll do our best to route you away from the disrupted area.


nav warning

During a crisis, every minute matters. Here are three other ways you can use Google Maps to stay connected and quickly get the help and information you need:

  • Share your location:Letting loved ones know where you are is vital during fast-moving, chaotic situations. From the crisis card, you can share your live location with friends and family for as little as 15 minutes, or until you decide to stop sharing.

  • See and report road closures: Turn on the traffic layer to see all known and suspected road closures in an area. If you encounter a closure on your drive, you can report it to help others nearby. You can also confirm whether or not a road is still closed with a quick tap on Android.

  • Share crisis information directly with the ones you care about:Tap on theshare button from the crisis card to keep friends and family up to date about the situation. They’ll be directed to Google Maps where they’ll see all available crisis information- which could include a summary, visualizations, emergency contact information, and more.

Hurricane forecast cones and earthquake shakemaps will start rolling out in the coming weeks on Android, iOS, desktop, and mobile web. Flood forecasts visualizations will soon roll out starting in Patna, India, and then expand to the Ganges and Brahmaputra regions on Android, desktop, and mobile web.



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What’s for dinner? Order it with Google

by Maps on May.24, 2019, 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

French fries, lettuce wraps, massaman curry, chicken wings, cupcakes—I could go on. When I was pregnant with my son last year, my cravings were completely overpowering. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to jump into the car and go to my favorite restaurants to get my fill—food delivery services saved my bacon on more occasions than I’d be comfortable admitting to the world.

Ever since then, I’ve counted myself as one of the millions of people who regularly order food for home delivery. Starting today, we’re making it even easier to get food delivered to your doorstep.

Find food and order faster
Now you can use Google Search, Maps or the Assistant to order food from services like DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, and ChowNow, with Zuppler and others coming soon. Look out for the “Order Online” button in Search and Maps when you search for a restaurant or type of cuisine. For participating restaurants, you can make your selections with just a few taps, view delivery or pickup times, and check out with Google Pay.  

Let the Google Assistant handle dinner
To use the Assistant on your phone to get your food fix, simply say, “Hey Google, order food from [restaurant].” You can also quickly reorder your go-to meal with some of our delivery partners by saying, “Hey Google, reorder food from [restaurant].” The Assistant pulls up your past orders, and in just a few seconds, you can select your usual dish.

Now's the perfect time to let Google help with your cravings. So, what are we ordering tonight?

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Introducing auto-delete controls for your Location History and activity data

by Maps on May.02, 2019, 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

Whether you’re looking for the latest news or the quickest driving route, we aim to make our products helpful for everyone. And when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you—like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search. We work to keep your data private and secure, and we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it.


You can already use your Google Account to access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web & App Activity, and if you choose—to delete all or part of that data manually. In addition to these options, we’re announcing auto-delete controls that make it even easier to manage your data. Here’s how they’ll work:

Gif showing how to choose how long to keep your web and app activity. gif

Choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved—3 or 18 months—and any data older than that will be automatically deleted from your account on an ongoing basis. These controls are coming first to Location History and Web & App Activity and will roll out in the coming weeks.


You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you--and we’re committed to giving you the best controls to make that happen.

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Making search results more local and relevant

by Maps on Oct.28, 2017, 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

When you’re searching on Google, we aim to provide the most useful results for your query. Today, around one in five searches on Google is related to location, so providing locally relevant search results is an essential part of serving you the most accurate information.


In order to provide this optimal experience, your location determines the country service you receive results for across Google Search and Maps. Historically, these services have been labeled and accessed via country code top level domain names (ccTLD) such as [google.ng for Nigeria] or [google.com.br for Brazil]. You may also have typed in the relevant ccTLD in your browser.


Today, we’ve updated the way we label country services on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop Search and Maps. Now the choice of country service will no longer be indicated by domain. Instead, by default, you’ll be served the country service that corresponds to your location. So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.

domainless4.gif

If for some reason you don't see the right country when you're browsing, you can still go into settings and select the correct country service you want to receive. Typing the relevant ccTLD in your browser will no longer bring you to the various country services—this preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom of the search results page, you can clearly see which country service you are currently using.

NewZealand.png

It’s important to note that while this update will change the way Google Search and Maps services are labeled, it won’t affect the way these products work, nor will it change how we handle obligations under national law. This update will help ensure that you get the most relevant results based on your location and is consistent with how Google already manages our services across a number of our other platforms, including YouTube, Blogger, Google Earth and Gmail, among others.


We’re confident this change will improve your Search experience, automatically providing you with the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location.
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Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed

by Timothy Whitehead on Feb.07, 2017, 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

Back in 2014, Google updated the search results functionality in Google Earth. At the time we noted that there were two bugs introduced: the ‘get directions’ functionality didn’t work properly and the right-click menu in the search results box didn’t work. The ‘get directions’ problem was fixed fairly quickly. We recently heard that a few problems had been fixed to do with the search functionality. It would appear that the right-click menu is now working properly. We are not sure if it has been broken since 2014 as we have been using the buttons below the search box, which provide the same functionality.

The search results window works using embedded html so changes to it are done on the server and not as part of the client, so there is no need to update Google Earth for the fix to take effect.

When there was a problem with ‘get directions’ we noted that it did not occur in Google Earth version 6.2, so we decided to download that version to see what differences there were with search. We found that the search in version 6.2 currently doesn’t seem to work at all. A search either fails to show any results, or it shows a result that cannot be selected. Do any of our readers still use version 6.2? Is there a specific reason for not upgrading? Let us know in the comments.

We still don’t like the fact that the search functionality tends to be very minimal about results returned. For many searches it tends to return a single result only. Several years ago it used to return a lot more results, which was quite useful for some particular tasks. It also doesn’t seem to be fully context-sensitive for many searches. For example, if you are viewing Livingston, California and search for ‘Livingston’, it flies you to Livingston, Scotland.

The post Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed

by Timothy Whitehead on Feb.07, 2017, 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

Back in 2014, Google updated the search results functionality in Google Earth. At the time we noted that there were two bugs introduced: the ‘get directions’ functionality didn’t work properly and the right-click menu in the search results box didn’t work. The ‘get directions’ problem was fixed fairly quickly. We recently heard that a few problems had been fixed to do with the search functionality. It would appear that the right-click menu is now working properly. We are not sure if it has been broken since 2014 as we have been using the buttons below the search box, which provide the same functionality.

The search results window works using embedded html so changes to it are done on the server and not as part of the client, so there is no need to update Google Earth for the fix to take effect.

When there was a problem with ‘get directions’ we noted that it did not occur in Google Earth version 6.2, so we decided to download that version to see what differences there were with search. We found that the search in version 6.2 currently doesn’t seem to work at all. A search either fails to show any results, or it shows a result that cannot be selected. Do any of our readers still use version 6.2? Is there a specific reason for not upgrading? Let us know in the comments.

We still don’t like the fact that the search functionality tends to be very minimal about results returned. For many searches it tends to return a single result only. Several years ago it used to return a lot more results, which was quite useful for some particular tasks. It also doesn’t seem to be fully context-sensitive for many searches. For example, if you are viewing Livingston, California and search for ‘Livingston’, it flies you to Livingston, Scotland.

The post Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Google Earth search vs Google Earth placemarks and street data

by Timothy Whitehead on Sep.03, 2015, 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

As we have mentioned in the past new additions to Google Maps are almost immediately available in Google Earth search. However, the information shown in Google Earth placemarks and street maps is not refreshed very often – sometimes it takes over a year between updates.

This is because Google Earth search does not access the Google Earth database, but rather the Google Maps database. The advantage of this was recently made clear by the recent renaming of Mount McKinley in Alaska, which on August 28, 2015 was officially renamed Denali. If you search for ‘Denali’ in Google Earth you will be taken to the correct location, even though the mountain symbol in Google Earth still names it Mount McKinley and probably will do for some time to come. The name is correct in Google Maps because it was changed in Map Maker on August 31 just 3 days after the official name change.


Denali, Alaska, the highest mountain peak in North America.

The same effect applies to addresses and street names. When you search for an address it is the data in Google Maps that is used.

Also of note is the fact that the Google Earth weather layer is out of date again.Thank you to GEB reader Dee for letting us know. It is, as of this writing stuck at 2015-08-14 17:00 UTC.

The post Google Earth search vs Google Earth placemarks and street data appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Google Earth search fixed

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.12, 2014, 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

Towards the end of November, Google updated the search engine that supplies results to Google Earth. We had a look at it and were initially impressed.

However, it wasn’t long before GEB readers pointed out that there was a major bug causing certain requests for directions to fail. We had a look at this issue and suggested a work around. However, there are quite a lot of people who regularly use the ‘Get Directions’ feature using placemarks in Google Earth and the workaround was rather laborious for them, so we started recommending downgrading Google Earth to version 6.1, as suggested by GEB reader Warren Jones.

The good news is that Google appears to have have fixed the ‘Get Directions’ bug. Thank you to Warren Jones for alerting us.

London to Paris
London to Paris by train.

There is still one usability issue that we hope Google will look in to. For quite a number of searches, only a single result is returned. This is dependent on which part of the earth you are viewing, but it doesn’t seem to have a particularly good algorithm, and since it frequently doesn’t offer any other choices, it can be a little frustrating. It would be better to guess the correct choice, but still offer alternatives. An example of this is searching for ‘London’ which flies straight to London, UK even if you are looking directly at London, Ontario, Canada.

The post Google Earth search fixed appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Problems with the new search in Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on Dec.02, 2014, 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

Last week we noted that Google had changed the way search results are displayed in Google Earth (desktop version). Several GEB readers have noted, however, that there are some problems with the functionality of the new search.

Directions
GEB reader ZEROibis pointed out in the comments that if you try to obtain directions by right clicking on two locations and selecting “directions from here”, and “directions to here” respectively, Google Earth inserts into the search box text like this:

from:53.4083714, -2.9915726 (Liverpool) to:52.6368778, -1.1397592 (Leicester)

and the search fails, flying you to latitude 0 and longitude 0. If, however, you carefully remove the sections in brackets and remove some of the extra spaces, then it does work, and provides fairly comprehensive directions, including different modes of transport and multiple routes – as was the case before the recent change.

There also appears to be no easy way to open the directions being viewed in Google Maps – a feature that used to be available.

directions

If you wish to get directions from locations that do not have a clickable icon in Google Earth, then there are two options:

  1. Click the “Get Directions” link below the search box, then enter the addresses in the two input boxes that appear.
  2. Add Placemarks to the map for your ‘from’ and ‘to’ locations, then right click on them in turn and select “Directions from here” and “Directions to here” respectively. Then remove the sections in brackets from the search text as explained above.

Save to My Places
If you search for a location and it comes up in the search results, it used to be possible to right click on it and save it in ‘My Places’, or one could simply drag and drop it to the desired folder in ‘My Places’. Now, however, neither the right click menu option nor the drag and drop seem to work at all. Another option on the right click menu ‘Copy as KML’ also does not work.
Instead, both functionalities are provided by buttons that appear just below the search results – which do work correctly. This includes the ability to save search directions.

The post Problems with the new search in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Improvements to search in Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on Nov.27, 2014, 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

Thank you to GEB reader Paul, for alerting us to a recent change made to the way search results are displayed in Google Earth. The changes to the search are not a change in the code of the Google Earth client, but rather a change in the styling of the results which come from the search engine. We recently explained that searches in Google Earth are based on the same database that is used for Google Maps, and thus the results are much more up to date than the mapping data found in Google Earth.

Location search
If you search for a location such as a city or country, typically a single result is returned with just the location name and marker.

Business search
A more general search may return lots of results, which are displayed both in an indexed list as well as points or markers on the map. If the results are businesses, then links to their web page (blue globe) or Google plus page (blue marker) are shown.

We recommend you change the Google Earth settings to open web pages in an external browser, as its internal browser is somewhat outdated and may not render all modern websites properly.

External browser setting

Also note that searches in Google Earth are location sensitive and take into account what you are looking at in the view window when you perform a search.

The post Improvements to search in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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