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10 Hidden Google Maps Features to Enhance Your Navigation Experience

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Hidden Google Maps Features

Google Maps has become an indispensable tool for millions of people worldwide, revolutionizing the way we navigate and explore our surroundings.

What started as a simple mapping service has evolved into a feature-rich platform that caters to a wide range of user needs, from daily commutes and local discoveries to accessible travel and sustainable transportation. While most users are familiar with the basic functionalities of Google Maps, such as searching for addresses, getting directions, and viewing satellite imagery, there is a wealth of hidden features waiting to be uncovered.

These lesser-known gems can significantly enhance your navigation experience, making your journeys more efficient, informative, and enjoyable. Whether you're an electric vehicle owner looking for charging stations, a traveller in need of accessible places, or a privacy-conscious user seeking to keep your searches and location history private, Google Maps has you covered.

In this blog post, we'll dive deep into ten hidden Google Maps features that will help you unlock the full potential of this powerful navigation tool. From augmented reality walking directions and detailed indoor maps to customizable maps and offline access, get ready to discover a side of Google Maps you never knew existed. So, buckle up and join us on this exciting exploration of the hidden wonders within Google Maps.

1. Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

If you own an electric vehicle (EV), Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find charging stations. Simply search for "EV charging stations" or "electric vehicle charging stations," and Maps will display nearby options compatible with your vehicle.

You can even filter the results by connector type, such as J1772, CCS, or Tesla. Google Maps also provides information on the charging speed and real-time port availability, so you can plan your stops accordingly.

2. Accessible Places

Google Maps is committed to making navigation more inclusive for users with disabilities. The "Accessible Places" feature, when enabled, prominently displays wheelchair accessibility information for businesses and public places directly on the map.

This information is sourced from business owners and local guides, ensuring its accuracy and reliability. To turn on this feature, go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessible Places.

3. Live View

Live View is an augmented reality (AR) feature that overlays walking directions onto the real world using your phone's camera. This feature is particularly useful when navigating unfamiliar areas on foot. To use Live View, simply tap the "Start AR" button when walking directions are active. Hold your phone up, and arrows and markers will appear on your screen, guiding you to your destination.

4. Indoor Maps

Google Maps doesn't just help you navigate outdoors; it also provides detailed indoor maps for select locations, such as airports, shopping malls, and museums.

These maps include multiple floors, allowing you to easily find your way to specific shops, restrooms, or gates. Indoor maps are automatically enabled when you're in a supported location, and you can switch between floors using the level selector.

5. Offline Maps

When travelling to areas with limited or no internet connectivity, offline maps can be a lifesaver.

Google Maps allows you to download maps of specific areas for offline use. To do this, search for a location, then tap "More" and select "Download offline map." You can then access the downloaded map by tapping your profile picture and selecting "Offline maps."

6. Parking Reminders

Never forget where you parked your car again with Google Maps' parking reminder feature. When you park your vehicle, tap the blue dot that represents your location and select "Set as parking location."

You can add notes, photos, or a timer to help you remember details about your parking spot. When you're ready to return to your car, simply tap the "Parking location" card at the bottom of the screen for directions.

7. Location Sharing

Google Maps makes it easy to share your real-time location with friends and family. This feature is handy when meeting up with others or letting loved ones know you've arrived safely at your destination. To share your location, tap your profile picture and select "Location sharing." Choose the contacts you want to share with and set a duration for sharing. Recipients will receive a link to view your location on a map.

8. Incognito Mode

If you're concerned about your privacy, Google Maps offers an Incognito mode that prevents your searches and navigation history from being saved to your Google account.

To enable Incognito mode, tap your profile picture and select "Turn on Incognito mode." While in this mode, you'll see a black banner at the top of the screen, indicating that your activity is not being recorded.

9. AI can now talk to Google Maps

Google Maps recently got supercharged by generative AI capability via Gemini, where you can now start navigation to a specific location using just voice commands.

The deeper integration between these two features enables seamless interaction between these two apps, making it easy to access Google Maps, especially while riding a bike.

10. Customizable Maps

Google Maps allows you to create personalized maps tailored to your interests or needs. You can add your own markers, draw lines and shapes, or import data from a spreadsheet. Customizable maps are great for planning trips, visualizing data, or sharing recommendations with others. To create a custom map, go to the Google Maps website, click on the menu icon, and select "Your places" > "Maps" > "Create Map."


Google Maps is a powerful tool that goes beyond simple navigation. By exploring its hidden features, you can enhance your navigation experience, whether you're an electric vehicle owner, a traveller with accessibility needs, or someone who values privacy.

From indoor maps and offline access to live view and location sharing, Google Maps offers a wealth of features to make your journeys smoother and more enjoyable. So, the next time you open Google Maps, take a moment to delve into its settings and discover the hidden gems that await you.

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