Google Maps Makes It Easier To Find Local Businesses On Your Route

Attention summer road trippers: Google Maps multi-stop directions are now available on mobile.

Just in time for summer road trips, Google has rolled out its latest update to Google Maps: Multi-stop directions are now available on mobile.

The multi-stop option is already usable on Android, with iOS access coming soon, according to a Google blog post.

How does it work? Users simply open the app, enter a destination, tap the corner menu, and then click “Add a stop.” To rearrange the order of the stops, users tap and hold the three-dot menu to the left of “Add stop” and drag it to the desired position. “You can even search for types of places like gas stations or restaurants like you normally would,” Google says on its blog.

Therein lies the real impact of the update for businesses: Google Maps isn’t just making it easier to find your way on a road trip — it’s facilitating discovery for local businesses, from restaurants to specialty shops.

The idea is that if it’s easier to make multiple stops on a road trip journey by using a Google Maps on mobile — already the primary device used for on-the-go discovery — it’s more likely that travelers will stop. And when they do, they’ll patronize local businesses of various stripes. Having the ability to search for these businesses baked into Google Maps as well also increased the likelihood of a visit; after all, recent research from Think with Google finds that 76 percent of “near me” location searches result in a store visit within a day.

Find Your Way

As part of the rollout, Google has also enabled Android users to open Your Timeline to view pictures associated with trip memories. Google Maps users with Location History enabled can open Your Timeline, select a date from a recent vacation, and add notes to help them remember their adventures — or save important notes for later, Google says.

These location-specific updates come on the heels of Google’s spring announcement that it would help connect on-demand car services like Uber with users by immediately showing distance and pricing for the nearest available rides — suggesting that Google will continue to double down on updates that use location data to streamline and improve the mobile user experience.

As Google’s product manager Amanda Bishop promised at the end of 2015, “over time, we’ll be introducing even more… features to help you find your way — even when you can’t find an [internet] connection.”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.