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Google Maps: Affection And Flair Help Get You There

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Alternate routes, restaurant suggestions, "flight directions" which help you find ticket prices and travel times right from the map and affection… yeah, that's the new Google Maps. And yes, I said "affection." The new Google Maps pays attention to your searches, starred places and more, eventually suggesting things like restaurants, driving routes and more. It wants to know you and create history with you in order to better serve you. Truly a product you can be "married to." You also get Google Earth integrated directly into your experience with "Earth View."

All this came out today as Google hosted their annual developer's conference, Google I/O 2013. The search giant has also announced tighter integration with their Google+ platform and Google Maps when you search for places. As you type your search you will begin to see social recommendations from people you've circled on Google+, along with tips from "top reviewers." This, of course, is all from the desktop but Google did announce updates to the mobile app as well. Coming this summer to the mobile app on both Android and iOS are dynamic re-routing and Offers. Dynamic rerouting happens when you're driving and Google detects that an accident has occurred somewhere in the path you're traveling, it will automatically offer to reroute you, providing a faster route. Offers is Google's social coupon service that works like this: you're in an area and looking for something to eat so you do a search on Google maps and when your results come up, you tap on an establishment to check out reviews and hours of operation- now, if available, you may see a special offer. The example used during the keynote was Starbucks (one of their Offers partners) offering half off a new drink.

The thrust of the maps section of the presentation was really all about the coming look and feel of Maps, beginning on the web. In addition to the Earth View, we'll see new maps functionality like real-time cloud rendering and striking new visualizations of transit data. If you want to see more, you can sign up to receive and invite at Google's Maps preview page.

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