Google maps has launched a new update in which there are instant messaging options while you navigate to reach your destination. This messaging option is only meant for businesses to communicate with their customers right now. We can expect Google Maps to make this update available for all its users very soon. As always, the company would probably like to test this new feature for its users before making them widely available.
The screenshots show local businesses, so it’s unclear if the feature works on devices where the Messages tab is available. Businesses will, of course have this feature in order for it to work with potential customers. Google Maps offers information about a lot of places, apart from providing directions to any place on this planet. This includes a way to plan meetings with friends. In the near future, Google Maps will also provide a few Waze-like incident reporting features in order to improve navigation further.
Google had earlier announced a 3D globe mode for Google Maps. This happened back in the middle of last year. Prior to this, Google Maps used Mercator projection in order to display Earth like a flat surface. It was quite popular back then and made it simple to print what it projected. However, the map did have its fair share of problems, like the size of Greenland and Africa appeared to be the same due to the Mercator projection.
Then there was Google Maps & Earth Help forum, wherein there was a question-answer session. In that, to a query addressed to Joel H, he answered, “The first launch of Maps actually did not use Mercator, and streets in high latitude places like Stockholm did not meet at right angles on the map the way they do in reality. While this distorts a ‘zoomed-out view’ of the map, it allows close-ups (street level) to appear more like reality. The majority of our users are looking down at the street level for businesses, directions, etc… so we’re sticking with this projection for now.”