From where you are to where you want to go

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM


As you gear up for the holidays, you can easily plan your vacation with the new Google Maps for desktop. With the latest updates, Earth Tours will take you on a virtual trip through cities and natural wonders in full 3D, while Street View imagery and real time traffic incidents will help to ensure smooth travels.

Explore the world with Pegman
Street View’s comprehensive imagery has always been a great way to preview your destination before arriving, but it's equally helpful when deciding where you want to go. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve made it easier to find where Street View is available, so you can explore locations in over 50 countries around the globe.

To discover a world of imagery at your fingertips, look no further than Pegman – your guide through Street View – who you can find in the lower right corner of the screen. Click on Pegman, and areas with Street View imagery will light up in blue. For a street-level preview, hover over any highlighted road, then click to dive into that location.

To see a preview before you go, click on the highlighted map

As you zoom in, you’ll also see blue circles indicating where you can find user-uploaded photos, including Photo Spheres – immersive, 360ยบ panoramas taken from land, air, and sea. Click on a yellow circle to see inside restaurants, museums, and more. With these features, you can explore an increasing variety of locations, inside and out.

And for the Pegman fans out there, you know he's a globetrotter. Jump over to Google+ now to submit your idea for his next adventure!

New blue and yellow circles show you where to find user-uploaded images and indoor photos

Get a bird’s-eye view with Earth Tours
Explore beautiful, 3D imagery of buildings and terrain for thousands of locations from above with Earth Tours available right in your browser.* Wherever you see the Earth Tour icon, you can click, sit back, and get a virtual tour from a soaring angle. Dive into Boston or circle the Alps.

*Available on WebGL-enabled browsers, like Chrome.

Get a 3D experience wherever you see the Earth Tour icon

Navigate the roads with confidence
Maneuvering an unfamiliar route can be tricky when turns, exits, or tolls appear without warning. With the new step-by-step preview, you can see a street-level snapshot of each decision point to know exactly where you’re going and what to expect. Just click “Preview steps” from the directions card and advance through for a quick study of your trip, including transfers for transit.

Click on the thumbnail in the directions preview for a closer look

Save time commuting and navigate the roads accurately with traffic incident reports – available on desktop and mobile. When you search for driving directions, you’ll now see congestion along the route and real time incidents on the map, including data reported by Waze.

Know the road conditions before you leave

These tools are designed to help you explore and effectively navigate your world. If you’ve opted into the new Google Maps preview, these features will start rolling out today – and in the coming weeks, more of you will begin to see the new Maps experience, which you can tour below.