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Useful Google Maps tips

Google Maps is probably one of the more useful things Google has built in its lifetime, and one that made us completely forget about physical maps or face-to-face interaction with other people, when we're not sure where to go.

However, as with any advanced app, there are some very useful features most people don't know about, and Maps being one of them, Business Insider (opens in new tab) has decided to make a list of tips and tricks for the app.

Bike Routes

Unfortunately, this one is only available on the desktop version of the app, but it’s a useful feature nonetheless. It might be easy to find the fastest or shortest routes, but what about the easiest ones? Many people ride bikes to work, and showing up at the office drowning in sweat is a big no-no. So instead of going for whatever you find, including climbing a Mount Everest somewhere, let Google tell you where the steepest tracks are so you can avoid them. Maps also lists the total number of feet you will have to climb, as well as how far you'll get to coast downhill.

Pin your location

If you’re having a hard time explaining people where you are (or where you were), you can always stick a pin at your location for future reference. When you're looking at a map on your phone, you can press down on your location (marked by a little blue dot) on the screen to drop a pin. Tapping the pin will give you the share option, and there – problem solved.

Offline use

If you’re going somewhere abroad, and you know you’ll be out on the streets with no Wi-Fi or cell service, you can still use the Maps to find your way around.

Just plan ahead, find the area where you do have service (maybe a coffee shop or a hotel lobby), tap the three vertical dots on the corner of the map, and go for "Save offline map." That area will be saved under the "Your places" category in the app.

Tell Google where you live

You can save your home and work addresses as “home” and “work”. Although this might not seem as a big deal at the moment, it definitely is helpful, and you will soon understand why.

Swipe right in the Maps app to see your profile, and tap "Settings," and then "Edit home or work" to add your street address.

Finding the last train

If you’re not sure when the last train “home” leaves (get it?), type in your destination (home) press the train / bus transportation option, and then press the graph icon on the left side right under your destination. Google Maps will show you arrival times, departure times, or "Last" which shows you when is your last chance of getting home.

Find an ATM or a gas station

Why ask people out on the street where an ATM is, when you have your smartphone, am I right?

All you need to do is tap on the empty search bar in Google Maps, and the dropdown menu will show you a number of useful options, among which are ATMs or gas stations nearby.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.