August 31, 2017

Travel Smarter with Google Hangout Location Sharing (and Indoor Mapping)

 
Traveling to a different city or country can be stressful.  On top of the language barrier, the new environment alone can make it difficult to tell your travel companions where you are.  I discovered a feature using Google Hangout which is pretty amazing.  

I was recently visiting Barcelona with my family.  At the airport, my wife sent me off to look for some gifts while she searched for a ticketing agent.  Upon completion, I sent her a hangout message to check in and she asked where I was.  On my particular phone (Samsung Galaxy J5), hangout automatically asked me if I wanted to share my location (brilliant), I selected yes, and it brought up Google Indoor Maps.  Instead of the usual way of trying to sort out where each other is, now we can clearly pin-point and navigate to each other.  It used to be vague instructions like "Hey, I am near a Starbucks, I turned left after past the security checkpoint and its about 20 yards from the restrooms", now I can just use the Indoor map with precision.

To share your location within Google Hangout, just click on the little GPS icon near the bottom of the "write message" box.  This feature works great for outdoor locations but surprisingly useful for indoor spaces that have submitted their blueprint to Google.  Smartphones have made traveling much easier on a holistic level (internet, translation, reviews, transportation) but little details like this one just makes traveling that much easier.

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