MacMost Now 882: Advanced Google Maps Techniques

Google Maps has been around for a while and there are many advanced techniques that users may no know about. For instance, you can adjust routes to include more locations by simply dragging. You can show someone a map location by sending them a short URL. You can also get directions for public transportation, walking and biking.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 882: Advanced Google Maps Techniques.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at some advanced Goggle Maps techniques.

Goggle Maps has been around so long now that there is so many cool advanced techniques that a lot of people who use it every day don't ever take advantage of.

For instance let's say that we want to get directions from Denver to Grand Junction. Now it is going to draw us a route here but let's say that we want to alter that route. Right now it is point A to point B and it tries to give us the best route possible.

We can go to Show Option here and can do things like Avoid highways. It will plot out a route now that will avoid highways and take us a more scenic way. We can also Avoid tolls as well.

Let's go back to the highway route and let's say that we want to alter the route specially and say it would be nice to stop in Aspen on the way. We can drag a point from the road here, from the route, and bring that down (there we go) and put it near Aspen. Here we go. Put it right there. So we see now it reroutes it giving this as a mid-point between Denver and Grand Junction with a little bit of a detour. You can see it adds quite a bit to the trip but it does give us where we want to go.

We can add more to this as well. So we can drag out another point if we wanted to and you can actually watch it change live as you move it around. I'm showing you a pretty big map here for the entire state but you could do this with just simple directions for just ten blocks and just show different routes through your part of town.

Now here we are zoomed in to street level and we can see the streets here and you can control click or secondary click, I'm going to use two fingers on my track pad, and get a little pop-up menu here inside the browser. You can zoom in to here or get directions to or from here. So if you don't know the name of the place or the specific address, you just know generally where you want to go, you can start getting directions from here.

You can also do What's Here? which will then give you a little street view look here and give you some links to explore this area. It also drops the marker there which then you can use to jump into street view for more here. Of course these little marks are more useful if you are actually going to a place like for instance there is a name of a bar downtown and I can click on it now and it will bring up more information about this place including an URL, reviews, direction and things like that.

You can even edit Details of a place and this will bring up some suggestions you can change so if you see some errors this is one of the ways to correct them. If you are the owner or proprietor of the establishment and you want to actually correct it you can start here as well.

Of course the key to most advanced features in Goggle Maps is the ability to go over here and look in this menu here, even expand it to get more. For instance you can turn on Traffic, turn that off. You can turn on Terrain here, which you are not going to see much in the city but for other places it will show up. Also you can turn on things like Photos, Webcams, even Videos here and it will add all this stuff to the map.

So you can click on a photo of what is at a certain location. You can also look for videos as well that are geo tagged for that location. So there is all sorts of cool things that you can find and explore using the photos, videos, and webcam feature.

Another cool feature about directions that you probably already know about is you can click on these icons here and change from driving directions to public transportation directions and it even gives you the routes and how long it should take to get to them and things like that. You can also switch to walking directions and bicycling directions and it will turn on the bicycling overlay here and you can see where bike routes are. Whether they are street routes or bike trails that will help you get from one place to another.

Another thing I like to do with Goggle Maps is instead of giving somebody directions if they are going to meet me somewhere say, I give them a location. I don't know really where they are coming from and what may be the best route is. Or maybe giving them directions from Goggle Maps isn't the best idea. Let them decide how they want to get there. They just need to know where it is.

So I will find a spot, maybe search for a place and find it there. I have the place located there and what I'll do then is go to the link and give them the link. You can hit Short URL which will give them this really short URL that you can copy and paste into an email. Then when they get that email they can click on that link and then it gives them the Goggle Map location. Now they can go and hit Get Directions from where they are located. If they get this on their phone say they can actually hit Get Directions and it will take them from where they are. So it is the best way sometimes just to give them a location spot instead of directions.

It also works great for invitations or for meetings or something where people are coming from all sorts of different locations. Instead of giving them some general directions just give them the location and then let them use Goggle Maps to figure out the exact directions to get there.

So as I said Goggle Maps has been around for a while now. There is lots of cool interesting features. If you've got some advanced tips leave them here as comments to this post at

Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 8 Responses to “MacMost Now 882: Advanced Google Maps Techniques”

    Air Raid
    6 years ago

    thanks for the Google maps Advanced tips very useful.

    Bev Mascara
    6 years ago

    Really love your Mac Tips.

    6 years ago

    I think will be a good tip how to get the GPS coordinates.
    Then the person can tip in the GPS to go to the place.

      6 years ago

      Yes, just use the search box. You can type in the coordinates with degrees, minutes and seconds using symbols like this:
      +40° 1′ 2.00″, -108° 1′ 2.00″
      Or, skip the symbols and it still understands:
      +40 1 2.00, -108 1 2.00

        6 years ago

        Good tip too, Gary!
        But what I tried to ask is how to get the coordinates from a point on map.
        For example, I pick on google map the location of a bar and give the coordinates to this to my friend.

          6 years ago

          To do the opposite, first Control+Click on the map in the exact location you want and choose Center Map Here. Then click on the link button on the left, next to Get Directions, My Places and the Print button. If you don’t see it, it may be because you collapsed the whole area to the left and need to open it by clicking the reveal triangle at the very upper left of the page.
          Once you click the link button, look at the URL it provides closely. You’ll see “ll= ” followed by two numbers, longitude and latitude in decimal form.

    Bob Metzger
    6 years ago

    I really appreciate all your video podcasts. Once you save a map location can you name it yourself with a location?

      6 years ago

      Depends what you mean. You can build your own maps with Google Maps and save them to your account, but others don’t see that. Or, if you own a business or building you can submit information or corrections to Google too. Explore — there is a lot you can do.

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