Layers of fun in Google Maps for mobile 3.2

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | 3:03 PM

Just as the world itself can be viewed through many lenses, the latest version of Google Maps for mobile allows you to view many layers of information on your map at the same time. Layers make it easier and more useful to find and interact with geographic content, like public transit, traffic (with incidents!), local search results, Latitude friend locations, Wikipedia and more. You can also see your own My Maps content as a layer on Google Maps for mobile. And finally, multiple layers can be combined at the same time to give you a content-rich view of what's around you.



















Layers on the Map: Latitude locations + My Map

Since my wife and I love participating in cycle touring events on our tandem bike, we thought our challenge for this year -- 1500 KM of riding in Audax UK's Super Randonneur Series -- would make for a great environment to test the Layers functionality while on the go.

The first thing we wanted to try was My Maps. This feature on Google Maps on desktop becomes even more useful with the ability to access them from my phone. We're not alone in wanting this -- it's the fifth most requested feature on the Google Mobile Product Ideas page. It was great to trace bike routes and add places to stop on the computer, add the My Maps layer in Maps for mobile with a few clicks, and see them up on my Nokia S60 handset from our bike.



















Next was discovering new places. When frequently (and literally) rolling into new villages and towns, it was really handy to be able to turn on the Wikipedia layer and quickly learn about interesting stuff in the area. We could click on any of the 'W' icons on the map to read more.



And search is improved too! Maps now displays a lot more search results -- shown as small red dots -- making it easy to find the nearest refreshment stop or plan way ahead.



Not only are search results more useful but it's now easier to search in the new version as well. Under Search, you'll find a link to browse popular categories, which helped us avoid the pain of typing on a mobile whilst out on the road (only available in the US and China for the time being).

Completing an Audax ride within time is no use if you don't get to the start on time. Traffic has been available on Google Maps for mobile for some time, but this new release includes traffic incident information for certain cities, giving more insight into the nature of the delay. Around London (and other cities where supported) we might use public transport, so having a map of transit lines with departure times is great. Now I just wish more transit services carried tandems!

To get started with Layers on Google Maps for mobile 3.2, hit the "2" key or select Layers in the menu. You can toggle various layers on and off, and you can mash up combinations like friends' Latitude locations against a planned route. Google Maps for mobile Layers is available now on Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile phones, and will come soon to other platforms. The upgrade is available for all countries where Google Maps for mobile is currently available. To get it on your phone, go to m.google.com/maps. You can read more about this over in the Help Center or check out the release notes for this version.

by Jonathan Dixon, Mobile Software Engineer and Randonneur

42 comments:

Phil said...

When I try to download the Windows Mobile Version I get a 404-Error!

Chris Nguyen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Chris said...

What kind of Windows Mobile phone do you have, Phil? Or where do you get the 404?

After going to m.google.com/maps or after clicking on "Install now" or elsewhere?

Phil said...

I get rederected from m.google.com/maps to http://www.google.com/mobile/products/maps.html (on my htc diamond in all 3 Browsers, google never detect that I use a Mobile - AND on my desktop-PC as well).

There I click on "# Windows Mobile: Download Binary" and arrive at http://m.google.com/gmm/winm_apps/v3.2.0/L1/GoogleMaps_compressed.CAB?dc=gorganic&source=gmmdesktop

There I get "Not Found Error 404"

fonz2591 said...

I am experiencing the exact same problems as phil

Erik said...

Is there going to be a BlackBerry version?

Tamcy said...

Please either allow us to override the language perference of the dowload product, or at least predict it correctly. We people in Hong Kong (zh-hk) uses Traditional Chinese characters which is the same as Taiwan (zh-tw). And sometimes we want English(en). But NOT Simplified Chinese as in Mainland China (zh-cn). It is very frustrating that the download page keep on giving us something we don't want. Thank you for your understanding.

Boris said...

Why exactly is this update pushed to Windows Mobile devices before I can get a hold of it on my Android phone? I thought I'd always be on the cutting edge with Google products once I have a Google-Phone. Too bad I was wrong.

Gerrit said...

Very nice!
One additional feature would be great: would it be possible to have an option to render the linked web-sites (e.g. Wikipedia) through the Google-renderer (like it is done e.g. for the mobile search results, if the option is switched on)? This would be very helpful!

Berlin-Paris said...

Hi,

It´s seem to be a good version, with a lot of new features.

But ... with my french N95, I can´t see the contents of "My Maps" (the list is empty, and I defined already Maps in my account). Do you have a idea to solve the problem ?

Best regards

Xavier

Steve said...

I have a HTC Touch Diamond 2 with the standard 1.39WWE Windows Mobile 6.1 OS installed.

When I point Opera or IE at m.google.com/maps it gives me a 404 error. I am in Australia so I tried the m.google.com.au/maps?dc=gmm link and it tells me that Google Maps doesn't work for my Touch Diamond 2 device... Which is strange because it came pre-installed.

So I tried to download the CAB file at http://www.google.com/gmm/GoogleMaps.CAB which redirects me to http://m.google.com/gmm/winm_apps/v3.2.0/L1/GoogleMaps_compressed.CAB?dc=gorganic&source=gmmdesktop and gives me a 404 error from both my device and desktop.

... The last Google Maps update gave told me I had a Touch Viva and I had to get a friend with a ETen X800 device to download the CAB for me... I guess at least this time Google is detecting my correct phone, despite still telling me the product doesn't work. :S

Markus said...

Hi Xavier,

I can see the My Maps I create on maps.google.fr with my phone in French.

Have you tried creating a new custom My Map on desktop with some placemarks and lines?

Markus

Dov said...

Mine installs fine (after I change the language to US English) but after installation when it tries to run it says "Loading..." for a while and then gives an error "Network unavailable" with error "wininetReadError [0 404 141/141]"

I'm using Samsung Onmia i900 w/ WM6.

This happens when connected over WiFi, USB, or 3G.

Help! I've wanted desktop/web map sync for months!

Berlin-Paris said...

Hi Markus,

I created a map, and, it´s right, I see my map. But only my map.

How can we see map from other user (already selected on my desktop google account) ? Is it possible ?

Best regards

Xavier

Al Iguana said...

Any chance you could implement some kind of auto-update checker in the next Maps for Mobile? Its a pain otherwise (speak to Jan who writes Gravity, he'll help you out)

Dov said...

Does it matter whether it's installed in main memory or on a memory card?

Phil said...

here is a working download for WM!! http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=4184243&postcount=3

Rene said...

Works like a charm on my HTC Diamond. No problems downloading or installing ( I use official 2.03 NL Rom )
Great job Google!!

yetanotherfish said...

Yipiie! Finally, My Maps on my mobile (Nokia E71) - works great :) Thank you VERY much.

hayden said...

Thanks looking forward to BB and iPhone updates

Race said...

I like the updates, good idea to include the My Maps, would be very handy for sightseeing cities!

Is a shame though that the J2ME version is still only at 2.3.2 :( My LG Renoir feels left out!

Sam said...

GIS for the main stream? Great!

Charles said...

When will we get an updated version of google maps for Palm's WebOS. The version that ships with the Pre is terribly dumbed down.

Jason Sares said...

I completely agree with Boris. I have the G1 and I'm getting tired of being the red head step child. I thought everyone at Google Mobile got free G1's (and now the Touch) to develop on. Is Android harder to develop on than Windows Mobile?

Schattenwand said...

Very cool google! Next step: Improve Car Navigation big time!! Seriously!

1. auto map rotate to driving direction

2. auto display of next step

3. voice navigation!

Stop not implementing car navigation! I will be using it anyway and die because of the poor handling!

Chris said...

If you were getting redirected to http://www.google.com/mobile/products/maps.html and the "Download binary" link was 404'ing, it's been fixed and is serving the CAB or SISX to download now.

Thuong said...

I tried downloading v3.2 on my BB but m.google.com/maps only offer me version 3.02 which is the one I currently have installed. Any ideas how I can get the new version?

Thanks.

dgftest said...

Dov: My install on WinMo6.1 smartphone edition worked perfectly from my 4GB storage card, no problem :)

Douglas said...

I really appreciate your effort of letting google map to choose its default language smartly by referring to the machine's "Regional setting". Google Map chooses "Simplified Chinese" (zh_CN) for the Hong Kong SAR region. In fact we (Hong Kong guys) use "Traditional Chinese" (zh_TW). I am not sure if it's Microsoft's problem or Google's problem, my way of solving this annoying issue is to replace the gmm_zh_CN.dll with gmm_zh_TW.dll manually.
p.s. Hong Kong people don't really like simplified Chinese.

It will be really great if you can take note of this issue and make corresponding fixes in later releases. Thx.

Christian said...

When a Blackberry version will be avaliable?

Peter said...

Dov,
I am having the same problem even at full signal strength on a 3G connection with my AT&T Tilt. I believe I am running WinMo 6.0 I installed it to the phone and not the memory card.

Adam Thomas, Regional Crisis Systems Analyst said...

Blackberry & Android First! Darn Euro-Bellevue Lovers at Google are killing us REAL Americans! ;-)

Demitrius said...

Google Mobile Team, are you able to add the multiple route results as in the desktop version in the next release?

I had to make a trip to my new job and on the desktop version I got 3 choices of different ways to get there, on my N82, I only got one result and it was the one with the most traffic.

Is it possible to add the multi-route result (or whatever fancy name you come up with :) ) without it taking 6 months to be released. Is it a limitation of the phone OSes or just something that is coming in future releases?

I also have a multi-million dollar idea that will save you all some R&D, developement costs that will add a much needed feature without any of you having to hire additional talent and will give you a leg up on the GPS Navigation crowd....I'll give you a call when I get the patent sorted out...

Until then....how about the direction choices...

Kenny said...

I agree with Charles, when are you guys going to spread the love for Palm's WebOS. You said that you "can iterate quickly and provide new functionality, often without requiring installing anything new".

Source: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/06/palm-pre-launching-with-google-search.html

Mayra said...

I am with Charles and Kenny regaring Web OS (Palm Pre).

I can see how your product roadmap may be based on usage stats. Inquiring minds want to know, is it possible to get an idea of when we may see it in Web OS or Android?

Tom said...

So I buy a G1 with YOUR OS, and you give Win Mobile users FIRST crack at 3.2? Nice job...where are your brains?

Dov said...

STILL A PROBLEM:

Maps installs fine on my Samsung Omnia (WM6) (English language) but after installation when I run it it says "Loading..." for a while and then gives an error:

Network unavailable (Error: wininetReadError [0 404 141/141])

This happens when I'm connected over a strong WiFi connection, which was perfectly successful in downloading the installer. It also happens when I'm on 3G or USB.

I also checked that the WiFi is set to be "Internet" and not "work" etc.

ANY IDEAS? What does that error mean?

Tom said...

This is a great addition.

I tried it on my N95 and it worked well, but I was dissapointed that I still could add locations from my phone (i.e. and have them show up on my Google Maps).

Then I tried it on a Nokia 5800, but I couldn't load it: I was only being offered v2. Is it not available for the touchscreens yet?

dev said...

I have a samsung innov8. It has built in google maps. I want to upgrade to google maps to latitude. please suggest

Laurent said...

Works perfectly fine on Nokia N95 8 Go in french ! Thank you people !

oosho said...

I installed Google maps v3.2 on my Nokia 5800 Xpress Music and it works fine but when it comes to routing and getting direction to pre-determined end points it just says,"no route found", although the GPS and the internet signals are really strong. any idea why is this happening.
N.B I'm living in Egypt.

Nils said...

I downloaded this google maps version (I think I was using the Opera browser) to my htc tytn2 windows mobile 6.1 telephone. I ran the installation program and accepted to replace my existing installation. The installation processed hang and I had to reboot the telephone. Now it hangs whenever I try to uninstall or run google maps. What can I do?!