5 Free Sites and Extensions to Make Google Maps Incredibly Useful

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5 Free Sites and Extensions to Make Google Maps Incredibly Useful

Google Maps is the most popular and greatest online map service. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. These free websites and extensions improve Google Maps and address some of its shortcomings.

Naturally, in order to use these features, you must have a Google account. You may, for example, solve annoyances like determining the fastest path between two locations or deleting cluttering boxes in Google Maps. Others, on the other hand, allow you to utilize Google Maps on web sites to research destinations or to create and embed bespoke maps.

1. Routora (Chrome): Add Multiple Destinations in Google Maps and Get Shortest Route

Routora fundamentally addresses Google Maps’ traveling salesman dilemma. Assume you have a list of places you’d want to visit. You must manually arrange them in the optimal path possible based on your calculations. Routora, on the other hand, will do it automatically.

This is how it works. First, you launch Google Maps and enter your first location to receive instructions. Then, in any order, add all of the numerous places you wish to visit to the directions list. When you’re finished, click the Routora addon to have it evaluate all of your visits. After around two minutes, it recommends the optimal route to save you time and money on petrol.

It happens in Google Maps itself, so you can send your new directions to your phone and save the route. Do note that this works only for car directions, not other modes of transport. All in all, it makes navigation better on Google Maps.

Routora works with up to 10 destinations in Google Maps. In the premium version, the developers are also building their own Routora Maps that allow for up to 25 stops and add walking and biking modes.

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Download: Routora for Chrome (Free)

2. Top-Rated.Online (Web): Discover the Most Reviewed Places on Google Maps in Any City

Every local business is on Google Maps these days. It’s one of the first places people check for reviews and leave a review about their experience. Top-Rated. Online has trawled through Google Maps to list the most-reviewed places in any city.

Search for a city, and find places with the highest number of Google Maps reviews. You can filter these by bars and pubs, beaches, cafes, fitness clubs, hospitals, hotels, hostels, jewelers, lakes, museums, restaurants, parks, sights and landmarks, shopping centers, and tourist attractions. Next, you can sort the list by top-rated or most-reviewed. And Top-Rated. Online also offers a list of “hidden gems” and “worst rated” for every city.

The list gives you the rating, the total number of reviews, and a short description if the original owners have added it. You can click any place to read more information from its Google Maps page, like the address, website, and reviews. You’ll also find other most-reviewed places nearby on a place’s page. And, of course, you can always open any place on Google Maps.

The website is a great way to find places in any city you’re visiting or even to re-discover your own city. And if you’re an owner of a business and feel you’re unfairly being dragged down, remember, you can always delete reviews on Google Maps.

3. PureMaps (Chrome): Remove Clutter and Boxes From Google Maps

When you open Google Maps in a web browser, you’ll most likely see everything but the map. Google has cluttered the page with extraneous boxes, making it unusable. PureMaps is here to provide you with a squeaky-clean Google Maps experience.

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After installing the extension, you will be able to reveal or conceal any of the Maps components. Among the existing alternatives are:

  • Show search cards (top left)
  • Display user information (top right)
  • Show minimap (bottom left)
  • Display map options (bottom right)
  • Display the scale (absolute bottom right)
  • Display the Google logo (bottom center)
  • Display the preview box (under the search bar)
  • Display the widget pane (whole left-side)

For most people, you should enable the search card while disabling everything else. Most of the time, you aren’t utilizing the other choices, so they are simply clutter. You may always re-enable it in PureMaps if you need it.

Download: PureMaps for Chrome (Free)

4. Rocket Map (Chrome): Map Widget to Look Up Locations in Articles

When reading the news or Wikipedia, you’ll often come across geographical areas. Normally, you wouldn’t bother looking them up on a map since there are too many steps. Rocket Map, on the other hand, adds a widget to each page, making it much simpler.

When you install the extension and click it on any web page, an overlay widget will appear in the bottom-right corner. Here, you may search for any place and see it on the widget’s little map. It’s a full-fledged Google Maps, so you can zoom in and out and switch between a standard and satellite view.

Download: Rocket Map for Chrome (Free)

5. EZ Maps and Snazzy Maps (Web): Easiest Way to Create Embeddable Custom Google Maps

EZ Maps is the simplest method to create personalized Google Maps with your own marks and then integrate them in your website. This does not need you to be a developer or have access to the Google Maps API. It is entirely free in perpetuity.

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After creating an account, you may begin personalizing the map. First, decide on its pixel size and if it should be responsive to screen width. Set a preset zoom level and choose from road, topography, and satellite maps. Then you may begin adding markers by dropping a pin or by putting a marker to an address. You may also create hotspots and customize their opacity and radius.

You may configure how people interact with the map in EZ Maps. You may choose whether they can scroll, zoom, use Streetview, and so forth. When you’re satisfied with the end result, you may preview it, copy the code, and paste it into your web page. It couldn’t be easier.

In addition, Snazzy Maps allows you to apply skins and motifs to EZ Maps. Snazzy Maps is a free and copyright-free platform for designers to apply creative overlays to Google Maps, such as making it appear like the map from your favorite game or TV program, or changing the colors of the highways, landmarks, and terrains.

Learn Tricks to Master Google Maps on Mobile

While these five fantastic features offer a lot to improve Google Maps on PCs, they aren’t very useful on phones. However, if you have an Android phone, you should discover some Google Maps secrets for Android that make it far more powerful, such as generating lists of destinations or storing speedier routes that Google is unaware of.

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