How To Show Speed Limit on Google Maps
Getting a speeding ticket is downright frustrating, not to mention that it can cost a pretty penny. Since paper maps are, for the most part, a thing of the past, drivers rely on GPS services to get speed limit information.
While most GPS devices/apps included speed limit from the get-go, Google Maps was late to catch on. But as of recently, this useful feature is available on Google Maps as well.
A Short History of Google Maps
Google’s efforts to map out the entire world are no secret. It all started way back in 2004 when the online search giant acquired Where 2 Technologies, a Sydney-based company that developed the initial software.
At the same time, Google shelled out some more cash to acquire Keyhole, a company that developed geospatial data visualization software. If you are into trivia, it’s interesting to know that Keyhole received some notoriety because the CIA was among their investors.
Conspiracy theories aside, Keyhole became Google Earth and many of its features ended up in Google Maps. Continuing the great 2004 shopping spree, Google also acquired the real-time traffic analysis company ZipDash that same year.
Under Google’s wing, the acquired companies provided the necessary know-how to create the navigation behemoth that keeps evolving.
What About the Speed Limits?
Although the feature is widely available as of early 2019, speed limits are not a new thing on Google. By now, it is not hard to guess that the journey began with an acquisition.
In 2013, Google spent about $1 billion to get Waze, the hugely popular navigation software known for its detailed road information. And lo and behold, about 6 months later, the features that Waze was known for started popping up in Google Maps. Still, there were no speed limits.
Initial tests for the speed limit feature began in 2016. At the time, it was only available in Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco. Early this year, a Google Maps update made the feature available in the U.S., U.K., and Denmark. But it didn’t stop at speed limits.
The update includes speed camera icons to help you avoid the traps and speeding tickets. Besides the U.S., this neat feature is also available in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Russia, and a few other counties. So you have a peace of mind should you plan a road trip to Cancun, for example.
How to Enable Speed Limit
Enabling the speed limit on Google Maps is very easy. To do it, launch the app, select Menu, and tap Settings (the “gear” icon).
Under Settings, tap on the Speedometer and turn on additional settings as per your desire. The settings include:
- Show Speed Limit – Shows the speed limit for the road you are currently on. It is located next to the speedometer.
- Show Speedometer – An icon pops up in the bottom-left to indicate your current speed.
- Play Alert Sound – An alarm sounds off when you exceed the speed limit.
- When to Show Alert – You get to choose if you want the alarm when driving above or at the speed limit.
Other Useful Features
Google Maps is a genuine navigation powerhouse. There are a bunch of customization options, hidden features, and geospatial search tools. Here are a few you are bound to find useful:
Like most users, you probably access Google Maps on your smartphone. But what happens if there’s no coverage? No problem, Google’s got you covered.
Select your destination and tap the screen bottom. Hit Download in the pop-up window and you’ll be able to access the map (directions and businesses included) from the download section.
Google Maps allow you to see ridesharing options from Lyft and Uber within the app. Select your destination and tap on the ride-hailing icon or the mass transit icon.
You are immediately shown all the available vehicles in your area including fare and time estimates, though this service may vary depending on your exact location.
The massive collection of images in Street View allows you to see how streets have changed over time. This special time machine is now available in all locations, and you can access it by clicking on the “stopwatch” icon.
Hit Directions after you select the destination and tap the public transportation icon. Select Options and you’ll be able to see “wheelchair accessible” under Routes.
This feature was first available in New York, Boston, London, and a few other cities around the globe. However, more information is being added, so feel free to check it out.
Keep the Pedal Off the Metal
Speed limit and speed trap warnings are among the most useful features Google has recently introduced. For commuters and road trip enthusiast, these can be a real lifesaver. As these features become available in more cities worldwide, they could make the roads a lot safer in the long run.