For years now, Google Maps has been the best friend to travelers exploring new places. Now, an update to its Live View function is making it easier than ever to find the location and distance of landmarks in the surrounding area. Through the clever use of Augmented Reality technology, pin markers pop up on the real world view in an engaging and practical way, directing travelers where to go.

Aiming to create an engaging way for people to orient themselves, Live View shows users arrows, directions and distance markers placed right in front of them on the screen like virtual signs. When searching for a place of Google Maps, users can already tap on the Live View button to visualize what the destination looks like in the real world. Soon it will be possible to see nearby landmarks to quickly understand surroundings. Live View will show users how far away certain points of interest are with virtual pinpoints on the live view, as well as what direction they need to go in to get there. These landmarks will include iconic places such as the Eiffel Tower as well as easily recognizable spots like parks.

Google Live View
On screen signs, markers and directions will help users get orientated © Google Maps

“When a friend has chosen to share their location with you, you can easily tap on their icon and then on Live View to see where and how far away they are–with overlaid arrows and directions that help you  know where to go. With the help of machine learning and our understanding of the world’s topography, we’re able to take the elevation of a place into account so we can more accurately display the location of the destination pin in Live View,” Google said in a recent blog post about the announcement.

Google Maps Live View.png
The technology will also be available through location sharing © Google Maps

Live View will begin being visible in the transit tab and Location Sharing on Android and iOS in the coming weeks, along with a more accurate pin. Landmarks will start rolling out in approximately 25 cities around the world including Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Milan, New York, Tokyo, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur.

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