Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 11:05 AM
When I moved to the Bay Area last year, everything was new to me. I didn't know Los Altos from Los Gatos, good eateries in my neighborhood, or how to get to where I wanted to go. Whether you're moving to a new area, traveling to a new place, or simply exploring a new part of town, this may sound familiar to a lot of people.
There's a simple solution: turn to Google Maps to find local information. We've gathered a lot of useful info about local businesses so you can find everything you need in one place. You can find neighborhoods and see if they're close to downtown, parks or other places of interest. If you're moving into a new home, you can look for nearby supermarkets, hardware stores, restaurants and other places that will help you settle in. Almost every business listing includes the phone number, website, store hours, price and more. Most also have user reviews and photos.
And it turns out I wasn't the only one who turned to Google Maps to learn more about my town. Watch this video to see how Google Maps helped Ryan, a fellow newcomer to the Bay Area:
Even if you know your hometown like the back of your hand, odds are you'll want to go somewhere new at some point. Not only can you find out the address of a specific location and get directions to it before even heading out the door, but you can virtually explore the neighborhood with Street View (available in many cities in the U.S., Japan, and Australia), or check out live traffic conditions. You can also use the "Send" feature of Google Maps to text the address to your phone or email directions to friends.
Watch this video to see all the things you can do:
And don't forget, with Google Maps for mobile, you can access all of this great information on the go. To learn more about using Google Maps to find local information, visit http://maps.goo