Google Maps Just Released a Bunch of New Features to Celebrate Its 15th Birthday

An illustration of Google Maps with "15" written in geo-pins.
Photo: Photo Illustration (Source: Getty Images/Google Maps)

Remember in the olden days — way back in 2004 — when you had to actually look at a physical map to figure out how to get from point A to B? Well, you can thank Google Maps for letting that become a distant memory.

This week, Google Maps celebrates its 15th anniversary. And it’s celebrating by releasing a host of new features that make adventuring to unknown places even easier.

“Starting today, you'll see an updated Google Maps app for Android and iOS that gives you everything you need at your fingertips with five easy-to-access tabs: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates,” Google explained in a blog post.

For the Explore tab, Google explained, it will help users discover new places to eat, be entertained, or take in a little culture. In the tab, users will find ratings, reviews. and more for some 200 million places around the world.

In Commute, users will find the most efficient route to and from their saved favorite places. Users can set up their daily commute to get real-time traffic updates, travel times, as well as suggested alternative routes.

Under Saved, users can search and save more than 6.5 billion places from Google Maps to make it easier to visit both your old and new favorite places over and over again.

And in Contribute, you too can take part in contributing information that helps keep Google Maps as up to date as possible by filling in any missing information for businesses so everyone stays informed.

Finally, under Updates, users will find out what’s trending and where they need to go thanks to experts and publisher recommendations.

Oh, and one more update: The app’s logo.

“We’re also updating our look with a new Google Maps icon that reflects the evolution we’ve made mapping the world,” Google explained in a statement. “It’s based on a key part of Google Maps since the very beginning — the pin — and represents the shift we’ve made from getting you to your destination to also helping you discover new places and experiences.”

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