The Fantastic Google Maps Feature That Almost Nobody Uses

Google Maps is a fantastic software application, but for many people out there, it’s still the navigation tool that gets them from where they are to where they want to be.
Google Maps showing parking information 6 photos
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Without a doubt, Google Maps does its job just right on this front, as it continues to be one of the most advanced navigation solutions out there.

But at the same time, Google Maps provides drivers with a wide range of other useful tools, some of which help make the time spent behind the wheel a lot more enjoyable.

Let’s be honest about it: one of the main annoyances for drivers out there is finding a parking spot, especially in super-crowded regions. According to TomTom data, the most congested cities in the world in 2021 were Istanbul, Moscow, and Kyiv. At the opposite pole, driving in Mecca, Saudi Arabia could be a shocking experience for the typical American or European driver, as people living here have no idea what a traffic jam actually means.

Getting back to the daily struggle to find a parking space, Google Maps is one of the apps that can help on this front as well.

And to do this, Google Maps offers a dedicated feature that almost nobody uses.

Google Maps parking info
As most people probably know already, Google Maps provides the busyness information for a specific place on the map – no, that’s not a term that we made up, but a concept that Google itself invented to determine just how crowded a specific point of interest is at any given time.

The application can therefore help users figure out what are the best times to go shopping, for instance, as Google Maps uses aggregate data and historical busyness patterns to create graphs that indicate just how many people are in one place at the same time.

Without a doubt, this comes in super-handy if you don’t like large crowds, but what does this have to do with drivers and parking?

A similar system is also being used for providing parking information when preparing the navigation to a specific destination. In Google Maps mobile (on Android and iOS), when you configure the navigation to a new address, you should see a P symbol in the lower part of the screen that lets you expand a dedicated parking screen – this feature, however, isn’t available for all locations across the world, so if you don’t see it, it’s probably because Google hasn’t yet launched it in your region.

Google Maps parking info
By default, the parking symbol in the main navigation screen shows how difficult it is to find a parking spot close to your destination – in our screenshot, this experience is labeled with a “medium” rating. When you expand the parking screen, you should be able to see additional information, such as the hours when the likelihood of finding a parking spot is much higher. The graph looks similar to the one that indicates how crowded a specific place is, so you may find the experience rather familiar.

Needless to say, the parking information is something that comes in very handy, but as usual, you really shouldn’t take everything for granted. However, if Google says that finding a parking spot at a given time is pretty difficult for a configured address, that’s probably accurate, so in 99% of the cases, Google Maps gets this thing right.

For some reason, however, few people actually use this fantastic tool in Google Maps, pretty much because they don’t try to plan their journeys in advance. Fortunately, there are other tools, such as Waze, that help them find a parking place close to a specific destination, though in this case, determining the availability is pretty much impossible unless a dedicated application exists.


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