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Why Google Maps made it easier to make plans with your friends

Googler

Millions of people around the world use Google Maps to discover and explore new places in their area. But when you’re exploring in a group, it can be challenging to decide on the right place to go. So, we wanted to build something that makes group decisions quick and easy for all—whether you’re a party of two or 22.

We recently launched group planning, an exciting new feature that helps you easily decide where to go with your friends. Simply long press on any place on Google Maps and drag it to your shortlist, a floating bubble on the side of your screen. Then, share your shortlist with your friends who can add or remove places and vote on their favorites.

01_rally_share_nosave.gifCaption: A gif that shows a mobile phone featuring a shortlist on Google Maps.To learn more about group planning, we spoke with Google Product Manager, David Tattersall, who helped develop this new feature.

 

What does a product manager at Google do?

Product Managers work with the Engineering and User Experience Design teams to design and launch new products and features at Google. We're all technically trained as computer scientists, but spend our time designing and figuring out strategy as opposed to coding.

 

What inspired you to launch group planning on Google Maps?

So often, when you’re going out to a restaurant, it’s a very social experience. Research tells us over 50 percent of the time people are with someone else when dining out. Yet, picking a restaurant is often a very solitary experience. It usually becomes one person’s responsibility to search for places and then send out a bunch of links — or what users call “link spam.”

 

So, we hope to make that process easier. We’ve built a feature where a person can start off the conversation with a shortlist and share it with their friends. You now have this shared space where you can go.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced while developing it?

One challenge we faced was finding the correct gesture to add places to shortlists. We wanted it to be a very quick action, but we also didn’t want to interrupt the flow on Google Maps. That’s why we decided to go with long pressing. It’s a quick action you’re not already using on Google Maps.

 

Another challenge we faced was rolling out the feature on both Android and iOS simultaneously. Usually, we release new features on Android first and then iOS comes later. Due to the kind of inherently social nature of the project, it had to roll out on both simultaneously because friends are using different devices.

 

What’s one thing you learned while working on this project?
The importance of getting little details right. The correct animations, gestures, and graphics really transforms something from feeling half-finished to feeling polished.

 

What has the feedback been like so far?

Users have reacted pretty well. We’ve done a lot of user studies in usability labs in New York City which involved bringing people in with their friends to try the feature.

 

They really liked that you have all the options in one place and that single link can wrap up all the different options to get you away from the link storm.

 

How do you hope it'll make a positive impact?

I hope it encourages groups of friends to go out of their comfort zone a little bit, go to different places, and try something new. Hopefully, it encourages people to go out and have fun because it’s easier rather than just resorting to the same places.  

Group planning is now available on Android and iOS. To get started, be sure to download or update your Google Maps app from the App Store or Play Store.

 

 

59 Comments
Level 10

Yes! I was recently planning a group trip and was thinking how useful something like this would be, we had to create My Maps, but it wasn't as good for what we were doing. I'm going to use it now to for everyone to add restaurants they want to go to in the trip.

David's answer also give me a couple more ideas to use this new features.

Thank you David and everyone that made it happen, and also you, @AriMar, for sharing this.

Level 9

Loved hearing more insight about this from David , @AriMar. I got this feature last weekend and it's been fun trying it out with friends so far. They really made it a simple, yet fun way to decide places with others and keep a running list of where to go next! 😀

Thanks for sharing..
Level 6

Hi AriMar

 

I really like this idea of group planning. Great idea.

Rakesh Shetty

Level 6

Hi @AriMar

This idea is great. Thank you and Mr.David. 👍👍👍👍

 

Good Luck @AriMar

Level 10

Wow, it's really a wonderful idea @AriMar. Thanks for sharing with us. 

Level 10

Hi, @AriMar

We usually plan to go some places with friends but always a question mark that where to go by the help of this new wonderful feature we could decide better. It would be great helpful feature for planning to go a place with friends. 

Thanks for sharing with us 

Connect Moderator

Awesome! Thanks for letting us know. @Anthony_LG - gonna try using this for road trip!!! :D

Level 9

Halo @AriMar terimakasih sudah berbagi informasi aplikasi baru di connect. Salam sukses. By ‘Lera76, Indonesia Local Guides 

Level 7

Hi @AriMar that's really great feature on Google Maps I think everyone will enjoy this we hope for good. Thank you for your effort and for your hard work.

This is a very great idea @AriMar it would keep connecting the to the next generation.

Level 9

Thanks for made a simple way to make everyone agree! Finally no more decisions at the last minute !!!

It's working perfect on iOS!

 

Great news!

 

Bye,

David

Level 8

It's really a existing experience with Google Map

Level 8

Any step by step instructions? 

Level 9

Exceptional value on modifications and plz allow identity card to all google maps contributors .

Level 9

@VBenedict 

 

"Simply long press on any place on Google Maps and drag it to your shortlist, a floating bubble on the side of your screen. Then, share your shortlist with your friends who can add or remove places and vote on their favorites." 

 

But for me work if first I select a place on the map, wait for the card to open and then hold it down for a long time on an empty spot (without photos) of the card itself!

 

Try in this way!

 

Bye,

David

 

Level 10

Yes, this is really nice and useful! We tried last week, on our international whatsapp group, and we arranged a meetup in India :D

Level 8

Group planning is Nice move @AriMar thank you for sharing with us....

Level 8

@AriMar thank you for sharing this news, It will be very good to use this tool

Level 8

@davidhyno  thank you 🦋  I will try it again once more and see if it works now.

 

 

Level 8

@davidhyno  this time it worked! 💛

 

I followed yours way and it finally worked.

 

Now... if we were to choose several places to visit an we wanted to create a best route; could we command Maps to render the route from this list? Or any of our lists?

 

I submitted this Idea a week or so ago and tagged a few of the Local Guides I know but it seems I am invisible to my old cyber acquaintances.

 

https://www.localguidesconnect.com/t5/All-Ideas/Great-Functionality-Wish-for-Google-Maps-Lists/idi-p...

Level 6

That's an interesting feature. Thanks for sharing.

Level 8

Nice tool for a group.

Connect Moderator

@AriMar I love this cool feature and it's useful 👍

Its Really Amazing

Level 6
Nice feature!
Level 5

ThanQ For this info

Level 7
It's Great Idea For Best Friends To Connect And Find Them.
Level 9

that's a nice idea @AriMar

Thank you for sharing with us.

Level 9

Wow this is amazing! Thanks so much! I can’t wait to use it 😊

Level 1

Lol good

 

Level 7

Wow great feature it's help lot when we roam with friends.

Thanks to google team @AriMar

This is fantastic, I often plan trips, so this will be a great too! Itinerary for the next Full Cleveland, 10/20/2018l! 

Level 3

Great idea

Level 10

Wow! This is really great idea @AriMar thanks for sharing with us.

Connect Moderator

Gracias @AriMar, por compartir esta novedad y en especial a David, por poner su conocimiento para hacer más social a Google Maps, creo que será muy utilizada para la planificación de salidas con amigos 👫.🙂

 

saludos Farid

Level 6

A great way to decide with friends where to go or meet as all information is available at your fingertips and visible to all.

I really like group planning idea because of easy and interesting.

Level 9

I really surprised for this great idea. Anyway, thanks @AriMar for sharing this  announcement with us.

Level 8

I used it for the first time today for my meet coming up next: up https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/BNlnqtLbS3zNIw1yrOwcQn2eMpbPEQ?hl=en

 

It is indeed awesome!

Thanks for sharing.

Level 7

Thank you very much for sharing, I think it will be very successful, now if people are going to cheer up

ধন্যবাদ । আমি এটা করে দেখেছি, এবং উপকৃত হয়েছি ।আশাকরি বাকিদের সুবিধা হবে ।

Level 4

This is the first time i communicate with post in internet. Verry Good, thanks for your sharing

Level 5

hello  its good idea

Level 7

 Hello @AriMar

Thank you for sharing

Level 7
Wow this will definitely create some mutual agreement for places to visit. Thanks @AriMar for sharing this update.
Level 3

Yes, this is really helpful and nice. 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Interessante...

Level 8

Awesome feature. I'm heading to DC on business next week and will be utilizing this feature immediately. 

Level 5

Yeah... Google can make our life easier...

@AriMar Ahhaha cooL