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The New Google Maps AR Navigation Tool Will Make You a Savvy Traveler

The New Google Maps AR Navigation Tool Will Make You a Savvy Traveler
If there’s one thing we can say about Google it’s that they are master innovators of web technology. Google’s research teams are always ahead of the pack, letting us in on their latest innovations beyond our imagination. Though the tech giant tends to upset our search engine optimisation efforts every now and then, we cannot deny that they are the best when it comes to creating web tools.

What has Google done this time that everyone should look forward to?

Whether you are a highly tech-savvy person or just a casual netizen, you will find Google’s new feature useful. Presenting Google Maps’ augmented reality (AR) navigation feature. This latest update is currently in the beta test state. Google has yet to officially launch this feature but it will be available to a few users for data-gathering purposes.

What is the Google Maps AR Navigation feature?

Early this week, the team shared to The Wall Street Journal that the recent Google Maps’ AR navigation feature, which provides real-time views for navigations and directions, will soon have its official launching. They once introduced the AR navigation tool at an information technology conference back in 2018. While technically completed, Google will need to collect more data. They have therefore decided to carry out further testing on this map navigation feature. For the time being, the company will be enforcing the said tool only on Local Guides. Only community viewers will be able to use the feature until enough data has been gathered and the team can correct possible defects.

How can this new map tool benefit you?

Google Maps’ AR navigation feature would be very useful to travellers or users who will be going to remote areas. According to Engadget, this tool is particularly handy for difficult routes. Here’s what the feature entails: 1) Google Maps will coordinate with your device’s GPS to gather data about your basic location. 2) Google Maps will make use of a camera with 3D arrows to accurately guide you to your intended destination. The arrows will instruct your where to turn or whether you simply go straight. 3) With the AR navigation tool, you will receive real-time views, thereby making it easier to decide on a route. If you happen to come across a baffling intersection, a fork road or a complicated mesh of landmarks, the tool will show you the way.

Is the Google Maps AR Navigation tool reliable?

Google researchers and developers spent years perfecting this tool. It is surely worth your while. However, like most things in life – be it innovations, opportunities and whatnot – you have to use your sound judgment. The team advises you not to bet everything on the new AR feature. While accurate to some degree, do not use it too much when travelling. There are safety precautions you should pay attention to. First, staying in this mode for too long can make your smartphone overheat. The app is quite heavy so prolonged use can drain your phone battery too. Don’t be surprised if your screen will turn black. Google’s advise is to use the tool sparingly – ideally at reasonable intervals. And only if it’s a challenging location by all accounts. Surprisingly though, Google doesn’t want you to depend on AR too much when you’re on trips. This could be for safety reasons: If your smartphone is in AR mode for a long time, it will make your screen darker and you won’t focus on obstacles ahead. On top of that, your battery would drain really fast, so it’s probably best to use the AR navigation feature in shorter intervals. Google didn’t announce when the Google Maps AR navigation feature will be downloadable for everyone, however, it will be interesting to see how it will elevate people’s routes in the near future.

What other pieces of information about AR navigation should I know?

AR navigation is basically a new method that comes from the term “glocalization” or global localization. It is a combination of machine learning and visual positioning, When you point your phone camera at your surroundings, the navigation tool will detect landmarks using Street View imagery. Once the machine has a clear view of where you are, it sends you feedback by accurately displaying your location.
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