We’re not all blessed with a natural compass in our brains and that’s where the Google Maps Live feature can help. You know that feeling when you’re trying to find some restaurant in your own city and try to follow a map to only end up hopelessly lost.
And remember the time when we had to look for signboards and ask random strangers for directions? Well, Google did help up us with their Google Maps, but even that wasn’t enough. Now they’ve got a new Google Maps Live feature you can use.
This means, as you walk, it monitors which way you’re going and pops up helpful arrows to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. You get real live directions using their augmented reality (AR). We’re going to tell you how to use it.
How does Google Live View Work?
The Live View feature uses visual positioning and Google’s street view image to give directions. In simpler words, Live View uses your rear camera to identify your location (a signboard, building, or landmark).
Once your location matches with Google’s street view images, you’ll see big arrow markers overlaid on the location displayed. As compared to the 2-D view, you’ll get more realistic experience with Live View in Google Maps. This makes finding locations much easier.
Some Prerequisites For Using The Live View
There are some pre-requisites to using the feature that you must check before activating it.
As we’ve mentioned before, Live View uses AR (a combination of both physical world and digital illustrations) to pinpoint your location. This is only possible with Android and iOS devices that support ARkit or Google ARCore.
Both help in tracking device position and merging digital information with the physical environment sensed by your phone camera. To check if your device supports AR, you can go through the compatible devices list by Google.
Street View Enabled Locations
Google Maps Live View detects and identifies a location by using your phone camera. But it can only provide directions if the location’s visuals match the Street-View database (representation of a place through panoramic images).
Google collects images of a place with the help of user-contributed photos and its team. So you can only get directions for those locations that have Street View feature enabled.
How to Activate the Google Live View Feature
The Live View is now available in the beta version of Google Maps for Android and iOS. To activate the feature you’ll have to apply for the beta testing program. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with the process.
- Open the Play Store (or Apple store) and go to the Google Maps App page.
- If you scroll down, you’ll find a beta testing sign up button. Click “Join” and read all the details.
- Now you will see a pop-up showing that beta sign-up for Google Maps is in process.
- After the sign up is complete, you’ll get a new update for Google Maps, which you have to download.
Activating Live View in the app
- Go to Google Maps Menu on the top left corner and scroll down to the “setting” option.
- Go to settings, click on the “navigation setting” option and turn on “Live View” under the walking tab.
Using the Live View Feature
- Choose a destination and click on “Directions.”
- Select “Walking” as your medium of commute, and you’ll see the Live View option at the bottom of the screen.
- Click on Live View and hold your phone vertically as your camera captures the location.
- Once google matches the location with its database, you’ll start seeing big arrow markers overlaid on the location’s visuals.
Google Live View Conclusion
Google recommends that you use Live View only in well-lit areas and outdoor locations. You should point your phone camera at a nearby building or a street sign. For a better experience, don’t use Live View mode in Google Maps for prolonged periods.