As mentioned in my earlier posts, I rate Google Maps as one of the most useful offerings in today’s world. It has bestowed upon us a carefree attitude and confidence to mark the world our way. Since we use it so often, it’s but natural that we seek more features to make our navigation experience better. Here I enlist 2 features, which I could think of in need and the solution I found over WWW, thanks to Google again:
Dynamic Rerouting : If you had stayed in India for a year, you would have got well acquainted with its unpredictable nature by now. We surprise you, when you least expect it. We might just put up a Pandal on road to celebrate festivals or give speeches or we would dig up a road to lay down fiber optics without any prior notice. Now in such cases, poor hapless drives are caught off guard because these not being traffic congestion, google maps didn’t inform them of an alternate route. Also, as per the algorithm explained here: How Google Tracks Traffic , the activities mentioned above cannot be relayed to telecom operators. That’s when WAZE comes into picture. Post Waze acquisition by Google, such incident reporting need to be fed by Waze users , which in turn is transmitted to Goole Map users. Read for yourself: Google Map Incident Reporting. Alas, this is not available in India yet, where it’s needed the most. Even with Waze, it’s not an automated solution but highly depends on user inputs. (Disclaimer: I had never used Waze). Do we have a better alternative?
Traffic Prediction: We are all aware of Google’s earnest desire to help us during heavy congestion by its red/yellow/green indications. This is in real time. Now, what if I want to see the data for different hours of the day to plan my journey. For e.g I want to visit M.G Road anytime after 4 P.M,preferably when traffic congestion is least. Google has it enabled for you in web version of google maps. This is what you need to do:
1. Use below options:
2. Use Typical Traffic option: To enable this option click on “Details” in one of the listed routes. Once done, you will see the highlighted option.
On choosing “Typical Traffic” map lets you choose the day and time to visualize traffic estimates.
Though this is not real time, with Google’s database, you can be sure it’s very close to near perfect accuracy. I accept this solution, and would want them to roll this out in mobile app too. Well I don’t see this on iOS , not sure about Android.
As for Dynamic rerouting, I would wait for Google Maps to have an inbuilt incident reporting with a UI lucrative enough for people to use it.