Google Maps launches Explore feature for tourists

24 Jul 2014

Google Maps is following the example of Foursquare by introducing Explore, a feature in Google Maps that will allow you to find out more about a destination before a journey.

The new addition is even tied into the local weather at that time so, for example, if it is raining heavily that day, the user will be shown a range of indoor activities at their destination. This feature will require the user’s phone’s weather information to give access to Google, of course.

The scale to which the Explore feature will work can be increased from a five-minute walk to a 20-minute drive and for Android users, tapping on the My Location button will increase the number of restaurant reviews, public transport schedules and other relevant information at a destination, , wrote on the Google Maps blog.

However, while Google Maps has quite possibly the largest user base of any navigation app on smartphones, Foursquare has long established itself as the dominant force in relation to the idea of finding points of interest in a certain location.

Since its split into two apps – Foursquare and Swarm – the new Foursquare app will create enhanced local searches based on a user’s activities and personal interests that he or she has logged with the app beforehand.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic