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For both pre-trip planning and helping to navigate to your desired sites and activities, maps play a crucial part in any trip.

Plan your trip by researching your locations using map images, creating custom maps highlighting locations, marking and bringing physical maps with you providing a complete view of all your locations and using your phones GPS Navigation taking you directly to your desired locations.
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Google Maps Tips & Tricks Pre-TravPre-Travel

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Google Maps has many features available that will help you during your travels.  Below we have listed a few of the more common ones that you may find useful.

Set your home location (your current Hotel location when traveling)

Utilizing the Trip Planner, you more than likely entered the locations of your hotels so that you can quickly navigate to them using the Mobile Trip Profile during your travels.  This allows you to select the icon at any time to navigate back to your hotel while you are out exploring.

Using Google Maps, you may also manually set the location of your hotel, work address or other location allowing you to easily navigate from your current location to those set locations by following these simple steps.

Android Example to set your 'Home' address (when traveling, think of this as your current Hotel address):

Set, Edit or Navigate to your Home (Hotel) address
1. On your smartphone, open the Google Maps app
2. At the bottom of the display, tap Saved to show your location list
3. On the 'Your lists' display, tap 'Labeled'
4. Continue with one of the following options

Set your Home (Hotel) address

* If you have not yet set a Home address, you will see the text 'Set home address' under 'Home'
1. Tap 'Home'
2. Enter your home address (hotel address) or select the option to 'Choose on map'

Change your Home (Hotel) address
* When your Home address has been previously set
1. Next to 'Home', tap the more icon then 'Edit home'
2. Enter your home address (hotel address) or move the map to the new location then 'Save'

Navigate from your current location to your Home (Hotel) address
* When your Home address has been set
1. Tap 'Home'
2. Select 'Directions' then 'Start'

Remember where you parked

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where the gang spent the whole episode wandering around a parking garage looking for their parked car?  In today's world, we now have Google Maps that would eliminate the entire scenario.  Thankfully the episode was written long before Google Maps and Smartphones, or it may have never been written for us to enjoy.

* Although this example is for parking, it can be used to mark any location for any reason you prefer although the indicator will still display.

Android
Tap the blue location dot (this is your current location) and select 'Save your parking', which will insert the icon on the map page identifying where you parked.

Tap the bottom text 'Parking location' to add details such as parking garage level, parking spot or the time your meter will expire.  You can also add a photo of the location and send details to friends.

Later, to find your parking location, tap the search bar up top and select 'Parking location'. Or tap below on 'Saved parking'.

To delete your parking location, tap 'Parking location' then 'Clear'. Or tap 'You parked here' on the map.  Select 'More Info' on the bottom left and tap 'Clear'.

iOS
Tap the blue location dot within the app when you arrive at a location. In the pop-up, tap 'Set as parking location'.  In the app, a icon will appear alongside a note that says 'You parked near here'.  To clear the parking location, tap the icon and select 'Clear'.

Save a map waypoint location

A waypoint is simply a map location you save allowing you to select it later and navigate to it.

Saving a location

Although you can search for a specific location, the easiest way to save a location may be to tap and hold your finger on a map point until the icon displays, marking the location.

Now, click the 'Save' button at the bottom of the screen and select a list.  You can also add a 'Note' that may be helpful in identifying the place later.  When you have finished, select 'Done'.

See your saved locations and navigation
At the bottom of the display, tap Saved to show your location list.  Select the list where you have saved your location.  Find the location you are interested in and select it.

The easiest way to navigation to a saved location is to simply click on the saved location indicator on the map.  Depending on the list you selected when you saved the location, different icons will display marking the location.

In either case, the map will display with the options to begin navigation to it from your current location.

Remove a saved location
At the bottom of the display, tap Saved to show your location list.  Select the list where you have saved your location.  Find the location you are interested in and select the three vertical dots menu item .  Now, select 'Remove place'.

Reset your current location

If Google Maps is not accurately displaying your current location, select the icon on the map screen to reset your device to your current location.  You may be prompted to recalibrate the phone's compass as described below.

Send your current location to someone

If you want to share your current location or any location via text or email with others so they can come meet you, follow these steps.

Tap and hold your finger on a map point until the icon di icon displays, marking the location.  This may be your current location, indicated by the symbol

Finally, at the bottom, select 'Share' then the contact you want to notify.  You may need to swipe the bottom selections to scroll to the 'Share' option.
The person you send your location to will receive an email or text with a link to select allowing them to navigate from their current location to yours.

Share your location in real-time

Different than sending your location to someone, Google Maps allows you share your current location with people for specific periods of time.

If you share your location with a specific contact, they'll see your icon moving in real time on their map. On Android or iOS, tap the current location indicator and select 'Share your location'.  Choose who you want to share your location with and how long they'll be able to see where you are.

Recalibrate your phone's compass

If you have ever gotten off the subway and tried to figure out which direction you need to go, move your smartphone around in a figure-8 pattern as shown below. Google Maps uses data from your phone's gyroscope to figure out your orientation.  The blue location dot will cast what looks like a shadow to point you in the right direction.

The beam also tells you how accurate your phone’s direction is at any given time. The narrower the beam, the more accurate the direction. The wider the beam, the more likely it is that your your phone’s compass is temporarily uncalibrated, meaning it's sensors aren’t working as they should be. This can happen by doing something as simple as charging your phone or walking by a metal pole, which most of us do everyday. Thankfully, there’s a really easy fix.

Tap the current location indicator and select 'Calibrate compass', then move your phone as shown.