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We’ve all used Google Maps to find places we’re going.
Many years ago the smart folks at Google came up with what seemed like a crazy idea. Hire thousands of drivers to travel the world taking pictures of pretty much every single physical address known to mankind. Then hard wire those photographs into their interactive map search engine.
But did you ever think about the places people search for the most using Google maps?
If not, you’re going to find this article to be very informative because our research has revealed some interesting trends. You’ll be surprised…
First on our list is an obvious one. Whether it’s a job interview or driving your kids to an event, guess what? You want to know what the place looks like right?
Millions of smart Google Maps users do their research before heading out on the open road. Who hasn’t been pressed for time feeling the stress of arriving on time? No longer do you need to panic. Just do what people from Maine to California do and map your way to your destination and then click the street view.
2. Now You Really Can Go Home
Where did you grow up? With many of us moving all around throughout our life from one city to the next, it’s awfully nice that you can always go home looking at Google Maps and photographs that will surely bring back fond memories. People love returning to…
- Their hometowns
- Summer camps and vacation spots
- Old houses they once lived in years ago
- Favorite childhood places
3. Laugh Out Loud
According to Mashable.com, many online surfers looking for something funny visit discover pretty quickly those Google drivers captured some amazing photos. Like the two suburban samurai fighters practicing their craft outside their Chicago apartment. Or the man picking his nose outside of Dallas, Texas. Oops, don’t forget the kind man sitting outside a Sante Fe New Mexico store eating lunch with his alpaca!
There’s many websites that feature some unique and perhaps odd photographs taken by the Google Maps drivers. Although be very careful looking at them if you have small children. Some of them are not suitable for impressionable minds.
4. History Buffs Delight
Researchers and historians love using Google Maps to study architecture. Schools and universities now develop many of their lesson plans by including Google Maps locations that match their topics.
- One University of Michigan professor teaching a course in Italian architecture brings real-life examples into his lectures.
- A Maine-based geology group uses Google Maps to pinpoint where their family heritage began.
- The Detroit Public Library now teaches a free online course to locals interested in learning how downtown has grown over the years using updated Google Maps photos.
5. Plane Crash Sites
Yes, it’s true. For some reason we all have an odd desire to see the wreckage of airplane crashes. Although slightly morbid, millions of Google Maps users can’t resist viewing crash sites.
Although a grief counselor outside of Pittsburgh, PA reports this trend has helped some grieving family members recover from losing loved ones. Seeing the location where their friends and family have passed on helps them process the devastation of their loss.
6. City Bottlenecks
One of the newer trends of Google Maps power users are helping city planners. Because of the growing traffic patterns in many large cities, local city personnel now use Google Maps to study areas in need of development.
7. Local Running Routes
Long distance runners too cheap or broke to buy GPS running watches, love Google Maps. A Boston Marathon runner short on cash now routes his training runs using the mile marker feature in Google Maps. Instead of having to track mileage using his car, he simply hops online and maps his upcoming run.
One of the recent interests of Google Maps users was to return to some of their best race performances using Google Maps to reminisce race routes run years ago.
Who hasn’t wanted to take a tropical vacation? Or visit a European destination like Paris or Florence? Now millions of Google Maps fans can not only view their dreams online but also plan their trip based on the distance between their favorite sights to see no matter their plans.
9. Business Development
A San Francisco, CA developer now uses Google Maps to evaluate areas his consulting firm is planning to buy for new malls. It’s a trend that has caught the attention of many realtors.
10. Real Estate
Who hasn’t wanted to learn as much as possible about a neighborhood close by a home they are looking to buy? According to a report released by Realtor.com, many of new home buyers are coming to open houses with Google Maps copies printed in full color. The old adage buyer beware is no longer an issue because many home shoppers have already done their homework.
Brokers are seeing trends such as buyers looking for:
- Schools and shopping malls close to prospective homes
- Daycare providers and fast food restaurants
- Access to major highways
- Parks and walking trails
When you think about it, there’s thousands of uses for Google Maps. What’s interesting is using the tool to see the changes to an area over time. Because Google only updates their satellite images every few years, stark changes can be seen over a period of time. Some users do report their favorite locations may not always be displayed when Google updates location photographs. However, Google support has been working on making new changes quicker so that users have the most updated content they need to make life a little more easy getting around.
A new feature recently launched is the My New Maps program. Instead of relying on starting over when searching for places you need access to regularly, you can create a personalized map that is saved in your Google profile. Because of this personalization, you’ll save time getting instant access to locations you need to see often. Google Maps users also love Google Earth. It’s a fantastic way to explore our planet without dusting off old encyclopedia books we all used for decades.