Better Know Your Mobile: Using My Location and Traffic features on Google Maps

Monday, April 7, 2008 | 3:05 PM

We've found that a lot of you that use our services like Google Maps for mobile haven't yet tried some of the great features that are available. Well, those days are hopefully coming to an end. Today we're launching a new video series to help you Better Know Your Mobile by showing you some cool tips and tricks for getting information on the go.

If you've ever wondered how to get the most out of Maps for mobile, then this post is for you. These first two videos highlight the My Location and Traffic view features of Maps for mobile. Stuck in terra incognita? Check out the My Location video to learn how you can quickly find yourself on the map. Once you know your approximate location, you can also figure out whether there's traffic nearby using the Traffic feature. We'll even show you exactly what the different traffic colors actually mean.

If there are any features you'd like to learn more about, give us a shout on the blog or video comments - we'll be rolling out more videos in the near future. To browse all of our videos, hop over to the Google mobile help channel. While you're at it, bookmark that channel to catch new videos about using Google mobile.


Mobile Boffin said...

Other than the local search, these are the two most useful features of Google Maps for Mobile. On long trips, I plug my Blackberry Curve into the ciggy lighter and bring up Google Maps. I center it to my location, choose the right zoom level, and then request the traffic detail. I keep it right under my car's nav unit to which it makes a great compliment.

Some areas don't have great traffic detail but where it does exist, it proves very useful.

One request: it would be great to configure the backlight settings while the app is in the foreground. I understand this is probably not fully possible on all devices.

Another request: configurable, XML based POIs, with proximity alarms that could run in both foreground and background. Useful for speed traps but also useful for other types of more legitimate POIs as well.

mark said...

One request: it would be great to configure the backlight of the mobile settings while the app is in the foreground. I understand this is probably not fully possible on all devices.

Joseph Kim, M.D. said...

I wish the "my location" feature was available on my Verizon Wireless Treo 700wx. It's a shame that Verizon disables so many useful features on their phones.


Me said...

Works very well on Nokia E65 especially if you have free wireless internet available nearby :)

Also if you have a good data plan, its a good way to find out which way you are heading by pressing 0 and seeing which way the map moves as you walk. More tips at

Bert H. said...

Big fan of google mobile maps. But i would find it usefull if i could choice between car,by foot or by transit when i ask for directions.

But 2 thumbs up for mobile maps, the best app @ my HTC mobile.

Bjarni said...

Building an application for locating wells in the fields, Google Maps for Mobile with GPS and KML works great. The well inspector can quickly correlate his position (GPS) with database info (KML).

I wish that future versions would support some kind of API between the mobile's browser and Google Maps, so I could combine the map with web pages like in Google Earth for PC.

Maru said...

I’ve been a user of Google “stuff” for a long while. Tried the maps program for my Motorola Q on two different occasions but there were some things that it couldn’t do that another company’s map program does do. One of those features, the one I would most like to see is the ability to “save to contacts” or “save to…” so that I wouldn’t have to go around the web to get to the information the next time.

I tried once to type the info into Google Notebook while having the maps program up on my device and the results weren’t all that I had hoped for. When I was done and I went to check the info in notebook I had typed something wrong in the address. When I went to look for the address in notebook later I had the wrong info. And I couldn’t delete the bad info from notebook via mobile. I wound up digging around in my car for paper and pencil but there was a lot of time lost.

Is there a way for Google Maps and Notebook to talk to each other or for maps to export/save to the mobile device for searching or reference later?

I’d love to see that and the ability to delete old notebook entries.

Keep up the good work Google.

Heron said...

Love GMaps Mobile. Have a Nokia 6120 classic (Symbian) and it's definitely bailed me out a few times looking for things.

One thing i think would be great is if GMaps could use My Location as an option for the start address when you're getting directions. I don't know if this is absent on other platforms.

voidmain said...

Maybe this is not the best place to ask, but how about a different color on traffic mode to support the large color-challenged population? We can't see the red/green..

Tack Furlo said...

I would just like to say that the "Use GPS" feature works great! I have an HTC X7501 and it has GPS but the app it ships with is a trial and costs over $150 to buy. Instead, I installed Google Maps for Windows Mobile and after just a couple minutes it picked up my GPS (tracking 12 satellites at once). I now prefer it over the one built in the car and we use it on our boat to navigate around the lake.

Great product. Saved me a bundle over an inferior product.