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3 ways Google Maps just got better

A new For You tab and Your Match score use machine learning to personalize Google's mapping platform.

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Google

Google Maps has mapped over 220 countries and territories in the world and now has over a billion users. But that doesn't mean it can't improve.

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In addition to the new ability to text people your ETA, the search giant announced a trio of new features on the stage at Google I/O, coming in an update this summer: 

  • A new tab in Maps called For You, designed to tell a user about trends and events happening in the area. It also lets your favorite small businesses "alert" you for sales and other events.
  • A Your Match score uses machine learning to combine what Google knows about a location with information you've added yourself, such as your ratings, travel history and interests.
  • You'll be able to create a shortlist by long-pressing on places, such as restaurants, and then easily share that list with friends. People you share with can vote on places in real time.
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In a future version of maps, a virtual guide could appear.

James Martin/CNET

Google also demonstrated a potential future feature for maps. Using augmented reality technology, a map can overlay the camera with directions and animations -- including a virtual guide that looks like a fox, for example -- for an augmented, real-time street view. No timing was given for when it might debut.

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