I got into the beta for the new Google Maps. And after running through the tour, which had me looking for sushi in Boston, I ran some basic tests to see how the new features would be useful in my life.
Test 1. – Look for a scenic view.
I spend probably 80% of my day in front of a computer screen, so I get the yearning to look at some expansive vistas from time to time. I typed in “scenic views, Austin” and was surprised at the variety of results: parks like Mount Bonnell, but also lakefront restaurants like Hula Hut. Then there were some randos in there, like Calendars.com and Parmer Lane Family Dentistry. Do they really have scenic views? Who cares. I’m not going to the Calendars.com building to ask to look out their window.
Test 2. – Find a place that serves crickets.
Crickets are a not-so-rare delicacy in some parts of the world, but I wanted to know if you could get them here. I searched “crickets food, Austin.” I found out that La Condesa served or serves cricket tacos, and apparently the Sprouts on South Lamar became overrun with crickets during last year’s infestation. I’m sure they wouldn’t charge you if you wanted to take home a bundle for taco night.
Test 3. – Get a fake I.D.
In the old days, to get a fake I.D. you had to know a guy who knew a place. That’s still the case, because Google Maps could not help me in that search.
Test 4. – Go to Monclova, Mexico.
I had never heard of Monclova. I picked it randomly on a map. I had never been there, but the Google maps car had. Seems pretty nice. There’s meat for everyone.
In conclusion, I’m not sure how the new Google maps is so much better for everyone but Google (more opportunities for ads). If you know what’s so great about it, please fill me in.