Three Google Maps Improvements

I love Google maps. I use it all the time. But as amazing as it was when it first came out, it’s turned a little stale. Features are added, but they mostly revolve around search, or are simple tweaks. Here are three features that would really breathe some new life into the product.

Parking Help

If you live in a city then you sometimes struggle to find parking. Google Maps already knows where people park because that’s where they end their trips. When I ask to navigate to the Space Needle, it should offer me 3 alternative destinations where people who have gone to the Space Needle in the past have parked. These can even be based on the time of day, or other measures of how busy an area is. If I’m going to an uncommon destination like a friend’s house, add a Find Parking mode which directs me down streets where I’m likely to find parking.

Useful Toll Options

I don’t avoid tolls in my navigation options. Which means that sometimes Google will have me pay a few dollars in tolls to save less than a minute of time. That’s not what I want. When the route is planned, ask me: Are you willing to pay $2 to save 20 seconds? I’d like to respond never, no, yes, or always. Google will quickly learn my general preferences, and only ask the question when it’s meaningful.

Avoid Dangerous Intersections

There must be a database of traffic accidents and their locations somewhere. (If there isn’t, organizing the world’s information is literally in Google’s mission statement.) Use this information when making routes. We all know a few intersections near us where there are always accidents. Why make people drive through them if there is a reasonable alternative? This is especially valuable for people who are new to an area so they haven’t learned the traps of a particular intersection yet.

Hopefully some or all of these features will get worked on soon. Come on, Google, make me fall in love again.

About the author

Living the good life in Seattle, occasionally sharing something interesting with the Internet.