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Google Maps will now help you see how busy an area is and give better walking directions

At Google I/O, Google showed off more detailed street maps and live views so you can better plan your route, no matter how you're traveling.

New Google maps tools will help you figure out when certain areas are most busy, so you can decide when to arrive.
Angela Lang/CNET

Google Maps will get several new features in the coming months to help you better plan trips during the pandemic and avoid heavily trafficked roads and areas -- regardless of whether you're driving, walking or taking another form of transportation, executives said during the Google I/O developers conference keynote on Tuesday. 

For drivers, new routing updates will use machine learning and navigation information to help you avoid hard-braking moments along your ride by placing you on smoother routes. Meanwhile, walkers will find more detailed street maps showing road widths to scale, along with sidewalks, crosswalks, urban trails and pedestrian islands to give you a better understanding of an area and whether or not it's wheelchair- or stroller-accessible. These more detailed street maps will launch on Android and iOS in 50 more cities by the end of 2021. 

A Google Maps update provides more detailed street maps to help you figure out where you can easily walk or use a wheelchair.

Enhancements to Maps' live view will let you access it instantly directly from the map. You'll also be able to see street signs and where you're located in relation to places like your home, work or hotel. This will make it easier to understand what's around you. 

Maps will also be tailored to highlight relevant places depending on the time of day and whether or not you're traveling away from home. For example, if it's 8 a.m., the map will highlight breakfast places and hide dinner options (and do the opposite at 5 p.m.).

While you can already see how busy a given store or restaurant is on Maps, a new update will help you see the same for larger areas like streets and neighborhoods. This will help you plan when you want to arrive or avoid in a given area -- particularly helpful if you're traveling to popular spots. 

Find out how busy a given area is with this Google Maps update.


All of these features (with the exception of detailed street maps) will launch on Android and iOS globally in the coming months. 

For more, check out these six hidden Google Maps tricks and how to use them

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