Optimizing user experience with Google Maps Platform

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Google Maps, Google Maps App announced the launch of  its new look and functions in the beginning of last year. In addition to the launch of five tabs including Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute and Updates, there are also some new updates on public transportation. Beside the existing crowdedness predictions, features like Women’s Section, car temperature and barrier-free facilities are also expected to be launched.

As for Google Maps Platform, it released major updates in June last year, including new Maps customization features, a collection of the best maps, routes and places information, and also Local Context that can show accurate details for nearby places, making it easier for developers to build contextual experiences that are beyond users’ expectation. 

Highlights and Summary

  • The map team has become more specialized in optimizing API functions after years of experience. To accelerate and simplify the integration of map APIs for developers, the team also put more effort on open-source development 
  • Google Maps launches solutions suitable for different industries. For example, the local context function is the combination and optimization of the three functions that consumers used the most, including navigation, store information search and dynamic map. The function provides consumers with a familiar user interface which lowers the cost of connecting multiple APIs for real estate agencies and the tourism industry. 

Powering contextual experiences 

The Google Maps Platform is currently expanding its product functions in order to enable developers to deliver more contextualized experiences  to their customers. First, based on the feedback , Google Maps Platform will import new map customization features ; It not only allows enterprises to manage their map styles from the cloud, but also provides your end users with richer context on your maps. In combination, developers can have better control over the number and types of POI shown displayed on the map; have more flexibility to update the map without code changes; maps can also be updated in real-time across all platforms and devices. 

Google Maps Platform also collected the best maps, routes and places information, creating a simple method to add Google’s rich local information to your map. Therefore, developers can help their  customers in the process of deciding the hotel to book and homes to visit confidently. Local context is a “one-stop” experience that enables developers to display accurate details  for nearby locations so that users can check rating , reviews, photos and routes without leaving their apps or websites. In addition, developers can also customize it to meet your business needs and brand.

The Maps customization features provides new methods to customize and update maps, and “Local Context” combines these map functions with Places and Routes, making it easier for developers to create contextual experiences that exceed users’ expectations more easily. 

Expand industrial solutions

In the past two years, the Google Maps Platform has been working with few game studios to bring the real world to mobile games. Today, Google Maps has come up with their gaming solution for all game studios, independent game developers and others who want to use immersive location based experiences to promote their businesses. 

Google Maps Platform will continue to invest in industrial solutions and expand to serve more industries over time. To learn more details, welcome to contact CloudMile at any time.

Providing more tooling and resources for developers 

In order to help developers build more quickly and easily, Google Maps Platform continually improves their toolings and resources. For Android, v1 of a new open source Kotlin Expansion library was released recently, providing better support for Android developers who have gone Kotlin-first; for iOS, the distribution of the Maps SDK for iOS and iOS utility library has been added through Carthage. These are just the first of what Google Maps Platform have planned this year to better support Kotlin, Swift and JavaScript developers. For those getting started with Google Maps Platform for the first time, the new beginner-level Codelabs was published to help you with Maps for JavaScript, Android and iOS.

Reference : Google Cloud Blog

CloudMile’s point of view

Maps Customization

Cloud-Based Map Styling tools 

In the past, developers set the map style by copying the generated map style setting code into programs that generate maps through map style editing websites. However, every time they need to add a map, they must repeat the steps. 

Map style editing website
Generates map style setting codes

Recently, the map style editor is already integrated into the GCP console. Developers can now create map style samples through the cloud style editor, linking them to their maps using Map IDs. Each time developers update a style, their webpage will be automatically updated with the changes.

Google Maps Platform new features

Local Context

Integrating the most frequently used Google Map functions- which are Nearby search and route planning into one local context map: 

  • Creates a local context map through the Maps Javascript API - Local Context Library
  • Displays an interactive dynamic map
  • Displays nearby POI information on the map, includes a maximum of 24 POIs and a maximum of 10 POI types
  • Click the POI to look up  information and integrated route planning function for the POI

This functions above are suitable for most industries, especially for Real estate agencies and Tourism  industries:

Real estate agencies

Create maps to display POI information on food, transportation, shopping, educational institutions , and medical treatment. By doing so, tenants get to understand the life functions around the object in advance. 


Tourism industry

Create tourist attraction maps of specific locations (hotels and stations, etc.) displaying POI information on surrounding attractions, food, accommodations, shopping and transportation, etc., allowing tourists to find the most ideal accommodation and arrange  the most interesting itineraries for them . 

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Grow Your Competitive Edge With Our Insights.