Google I/O 2021: Google Maps unveils slate of new features including AR ‘Live View'

Google Maps will be offering users AR information about the businesses and landmarks around them.
Written by Jonathan Greig, Contributor

Google Maps will be rolling out multiple new features over the coming months that will add innovative new AR features to the app. 

During Google's I/O conference, the company announced that it was adding a slate of AR-based tools to Google Maps that will provide users with more information about businesses around them, clearer directions to landmarks and even data on how busy certain areas are. 

For years, people have used Google Maps street view to get a better idea of an area, but Google has pledged to add even more granular data to the feature.  

Google Maps' Liz Reed said the company plans to roll out more than 100 AI-driven improvements to the app this year in order to give people "richer and more contextual information about the world around them. 

Previously, 'Live View' was only available for navigation, but it will now give you information about the world around you. You can instantly see details about the shops and restaurants around you, including how busy they are, recent reviews and photos of the food.


The map matches what your camera sees with the information provided by businesses and cities. 

Later this year, Google Maps will add virtual street signs that help users navigate and notices for key landmarks that may be important, like the direction of a tourists' hotel. 

There will also be features that help users navigate inside of buildings like airports, malls and transit stations. Indoor Live View will be rolled out in Zurich this week and will be available in Tokyo next month. 

Google Maps will also be adding more granular information to their maps including streetlights, crosswalks and more. The detailed maps will roll out in 50 new cities by the end of the year. 

Users will also be able to tailor Google Maps to what information is most important for them at any moment. Depending on the time of day, the map will let users know about nearby coffee shops or the best dinner spots. 


Google Maps will also be expanding the busyness tracker, which previously notified users of how full or active a store or restaurant is. The Area Busyness feature will now let you know how busy an entire neighborhood or landmark is. The feature will roll out throughout the rest of the year. 

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