8:30am: You just hopped in your car for a quick dash across town to make that 9am appointment.
9:15am: You are still sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, watching as pedestrians hurry past and cursing the decision to pick up the car keys.
9:25am: Finally arriving at your appointment, you reflect that maybe hopping on a bike was a smarter option.

Anyone who has been stuck in city traffic knows that the fastest way from A to B is not always by car, and that public transit, biking or even walking can be a better choice. Well, now you can stop playing transportation roulette and start navigating with confidence. Starting today on iOS (already available on Android), Google Maps will show you travel times for all transportation types on just one screen so you can easily compare your options and get where you’re going as quickly as possible.

With live traffic and public transit information reflecting delays and cancellations, Google Maps will quickly compare transport options in real-time to give you the right information, right when you need it. Once you've selected your mode of transportation, Google Maps goes the extra mile to provide you with alternate routes directly on the map.

All you need to know is where you want to go. Google Maps for mobile will provide you with the most detailed and useful information so you can make the best decision—whether that means picking up your keys, bike helmet or bus pass.

Post By: Florian Goerisch, Product Manager, Google Maps

Starting today, you can virtually explore downtown Manila, wander the historic streets of Vigan, and see where boxing legend Manny Pacquiao grew up and trained, with the launch of new Street View imagery in the Philippines. Thanks to the support of the Philippines Department of Tourism, 37 cities and 35 historic locations—including eight UNESCO world heritage sites—are now available for the world to explore in 360-degree panoramic views with Street View.

From the beautiful baroque churches of Miag-ao and Paoay, to Bantigui Island’s stunning beaches, or Pulag peaks, this new imagery showcases some of the archipelago’s most important historical sites and natural beauty. This imagery expands on existing Street View collections in the Philippines, including underwater views from Apo Island and images of Manila’s historic walled city of Intramuros.

In addition to seeing the Philippines’ famous beaches and churches, you can take an insider's tour of Manny Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos City. Glimpse the Pacman Wildcard Gym that Manny owns, named after the gym in Los Angeles where he used to train, or wander around his farm.

For those looking for something truly unique, head to Baguio for some inspiration and see the Cemetery of Negativism at Camp John Hay, a place where people can bury bad thoughts and vibes in humor, which was established in the early 80’s, or stop by Dinosaur Island in Benguet to experience the dinosaur era with life-size animatronic sauruses.  

Mapping an archipelago with 7,000+ islands is no small undertaking. Since kicking off imagery collection last January, we’ve driven well over 10,000 miles across the country.  

We’ll continue to bring Street View to new places across the Philippines, so people around the world can see even more of the beauty and diversity of the country for themselves. Pinoys who would like to share their corner of the world with the world can also use our new Street View app to create and share your own panoramic images.

Posted by Ken Lingan, Country Manager, Google Philippines

Today for the first time, we’re releasing Street View imagery of Kenya—including the Samburu National Reserve, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust—in partnership with Save the Elephants and with the support of the Samburu County Government. We'll let Save the Elephants' David Dabellen take it from here. -Ed.

It’s a wild life at the Save the Elephants research camp in Samburu, in the heart of northern Kenya’s wilderness. For the last 15 years at Save the Elephants, I’ve spent my days among the elephants, working alongside my fellow Samburu people to study and protect them. Research shows that 100,000 elephants across Africa were killed for their ivory between 2010-2012, but thanks to our work in the Samburu National Reserve their numbers are now slowly increasing. Today, a visit to Samburu is a chance not only to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, but also discover a uniquely beautiful landscape where people’s live are interwoven with the landscape’s wildlife. It’s my honour to invite you on a journey to my homeland with Street View in Google Maps.  

Every time I drive into the Reserve, I can see the trust on the elephants’ faces and feel a warm welcome. When I’m out and about, I never know which of my fellow citizens I’ll bump into next. It could be some of the 600+ elephants I can recognize—like the Hardwood family—frolicking together, a group of Samburu warriors walking along the Ewaso Nyiro River, a pride of lions enjoying a bit of shade, or a leopard crossing the path. While you make your journey through Street View, you may be surprised what awaits.

South of Samburu, up into the hills of Kenya, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy awaits exploration. In this greener landscape, you can cross the open savannah, where animals like zebras and rhinoceroses live protected from poachers and hunters. Every day, the Lewa radio command center plots the movements of elephants (and other GPS-collared wildlife) onto Google Earth to help rangers determine where elephants are and when they might be in danger. If an elephant’s GPS collar sends an alert to indicate the elephant has stopped moving, a team of rangers and tracking dogs will investigate. Save the Elephants was one of the first organizations to use this technology, having collared 266 elephants across Africa since 1998.

Visiting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, you can see the devastating effect of poaching and other causes of elephant deaths in Kenya. Founded in 1977, the Trust provides lifesaving assistance to wild animals in need, including orphaned elephants and rhinos. At their Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, elephant caretakers stand in for an elephant’s lost family, providing 24/7 care and specially formulated milk. As the orphans grow, they are gradually reintegrated back into the wild, where they are protected by the charity’s Anti-Poaching and Aerial Surveillance Teams. To date, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has hand-raised more than 180 orphaned infant elephants, including little Sokotei, who I helped to rescue in Samburu after his mother died of natural causes when he was six months old. He’s just one elephant amid thousands that have been lost across the continent, but when you're up against a challenge of this scale, every elephant counts.

I hope this glimpse into life in Samburu has inspired you to learn more about elephants’ plight and how you can help. Samburu is my home and is full of life. To ensure it remains that way, please consider supporting the research of Save the Elephants, making a donation to the anti-poaching efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, or fostering an orphaned elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. After exploring in Street View, come and see us here in Kenya in person—we’d love to have you!

Posted by David Daballen, Head of Field Operations at Save the Elephants

For all the Street View fans out there: exploring the world just got even easier. Today we are introducing the new Street View app for Android and iOS, which allows you for the first time, to tour immersive 360-degree imagery and instantly contribute your own — right to Google Maps. Find a great hiking trail, check out restaurant and hotel interiors, and snap and share your own photo spheres (360-degree panoramas) to Google Maps for others to explore and enjoy. All in one place.
The new Street View app for Android (left) and iOS (right)

In one gallery, you can explore Street View collections and content from Google Maps alongside photo spheres contributed from people around the globe. So whether you want to track the Loch Ness monster in Scotland, scale the famed rock wall El Capitan in Yosemite, or hike Mt. Fuji, the Street View app has you covered.

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Explore Google Maps and user galleries in the Street View app

Now you can publish photo spheres of your favorite places from around the world (or around the block!) to Google Maps instantly. The Street View app allows you to shoot photo spheres directly from your Android phone or iPhone or connect to spherical cameras like the Ricoh Theta S, or NCTech iris360.

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Publish photo spheres directly to Google Maps in the Street View app

Starting today, the Street View app will replace the Photo Sphere Camera app for iPhones and the Street View from Google Maps app on Android phones. It is available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

Posted by Charles Armstrong, Product Manager at Google Maps

Whether you’re a tourist looking for a casual dinner or a local trying to find a new neighborhood watering hole, Google Maps for mobile provides the most detailed and useful information so you can make the best decision on where to go. Starting today in Google Maps for Android in the US and UK, you’ll be able to uncover the best your city has to offer with our updated explore feature. And in NYC, San Francisco and London, you’ll enjoy curated recommendations from Google Maps. Now you can discover what is unique (and delicious!) about the neighborhood you’re in -- whether it’s pre-theater dining in the Theater District in NYC, Dolores Park picnic fare in the Mission in San Francisco or centuries-old pubs in The City in London.

Having the best local guide is great, but what’s better: having the best local guide for you. To do that, you’ve got to know where you’re going, the time of day for your meal, and what vibe you want. After all, the best spot for a quick bite alone may not be your top pick for a dinner with friends. With today’s Google Maps update, no matter the occasion — think Lunch nearby right now or Best spots for dinner with kids this weekend you can be confident that Google Maps has you covered.

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Once you pick the category that suits your craving, you can see in-depth details about each location. Swipe through photos, get details (family-friendly? quick bite?), and check out ratings and reviews from Google and other diners. And for select spots, you also discover why it may be particularly relevant to you: for example, Google Maps may recommend a place that’s popular with other diners who visited a place you’ve been to in the past.  

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While Google Maps may offer a suggested list, such as lunch or dinner based on your location and time of day, sometimes a change of scenery is in order! Never fear, all options for nearby neighborhoods, categories and cuisines are all just one tap away. And if you don’t find the perfect place at first glance, you can choose to load more places from the area, expand the area or switch to a different category.

Now enjoy, and eat up!

Posted by Murali Viswanathan, Senior Product Manager