By Lilian Mutegi:
Google has added 3D, explorable versions of Mars and the Moon right into Maps. Google added the heavenly bodies to commemorate the Curiosity rover's second year cruising the Martian surface.
To view Mars and the Moon on the maps, users have to go into the 'Earth' view and keep zooming out till you see a little blue dot framed by stars, tap on the 'Explore' button will show images of moon and Mars.
You can click and drag both Mars and the Moon and rotate them. To explore users can zoom in and out, similar to how it works with Google Earth. For the Moon, Google is crediting NASA, USGS, JAXA and SELENE for the imagery. As for Mars, the list is understandably shorter, with just NASA and USGS on the list. I guess this means that all of Google's satellites are still pointed at earth.To see the new additions on Google Maps users have to download the latest version unveiled earlier this year.
However, Google is not yet providing directions to the Moon.To access Google Mars and Google moon, head into Google Maps on your PC, make sure you are in Google Earth mode, zoom all the way out until you can see the entire globe and wait just a second for the Moon and Mars to pop up into the Explore drawer at the bottom of your screen. Needless to say, you'll need to be in the new version of Maps for this to work.
Recently google also launched new version of Google Maps which offers improved integration of search results, easier access to picture galleries and smart route navigation. The new interface is more streamlined and offers smart route navigation, better integration of search results as well as easier access to picture galleries. The search giant has included several new features including search results embedded right into the maps. The results will include the business name, along with its rating, reviews, price guide and much more.
The navigation system will now include real-time traffic reports and previews of the destination using Street View graphics. Different routes for car, bike, public transportation, or pedestrians are all shown, with complete time estimates, on the same screen. Street View was also expanded to include more user-submitted photos, giving you access to places where Street View cameras have not reached yet.
Google also recently launched its Google Maps in Hindi on web and mobile app for Android devices running versions 4.3 and higher. This move will help Google cater to Hindi speaking users in India. Users have to enable Hindi as their preferred language to view Hindi labels in Google Maps. Currently only popular places of interest and for turn-by-turn text navigation in Hindi is available to users. The internet giant is also planning to launch voice based navigation prompts in Hindi soon.