Google Maps adds shareable lists to its repertoire

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With its live traffic data, peer reviews and ability to save maps offline, Google Maps has long been our default digital cartography service. Now it’s gotten even better thanks to the addition of shareable lists.

From today, users can search for favourite spots on the Android or iOS versions of Google Maps, hit the “save” button, and add them to a selection of pre-defined lists, or create their own. Thereafter, users can access the lists via the “Your Places” menu in the sidebar, and share them via social media, email, instance messaging service or, well, using pretty much any app your phone spits out when you hit “share”.

Once you’ve shared a list the recipient can choose to follow it, which will make it show up in their “Your Places” menu, too. We’re already looking forward to sharing lists of our favourite eateries and tapping into friends’ expertise when visiting new cities.

Like starred items in Google Maps, items you add to lists will also show up when you’re looking at maps and will be demarcated with a dedicated icon. More importantly, like starred items they’ll also be added to any areas you download for offline viewing, which is a real boon for travellers and the data-frugal. We keep our hometown downloaded to “Offline Areas” and make sure to add any city we’re visiting before we leave home.

What we’d like to see next is the option to create collaborative lists, so we can rope in our brunch posse to create the ultimate guide to Johannesburg’s best croque madame or eggs benedict. Surely it’s only a matter of time.

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