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Wherever you’re headed, Google Maps can give you a snapshot of what you’ll find when you get there, from real-time crowd numbers to menus, prices and contact information.


Angela Lang/CNET

I seldom use Google Maps to actually get directions, but I open the app almost every day for other reasons that might not be so obvious. Truth is, Google Maps is useful for a lot more than just showing you how to get from Point A to Point B. Beneath all those Christmas-colored traffic patterns and high-res satellite images hides a powerful search tool that offers crowdsourced real-time data on restaurants, retail stores, professional offices, public parks and practically anywhere else you’d want to go.

Some of Google Maps’ recent updates include adding a coronavirus information layerpaying for parking, improved images and sidewalk maps, and improved location sharing. Turn-by-turn directions are so last decade, comparatively

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