How to Use Voice Command for Google Maps
By Edward Mercer
Whether your hands are busy or you just can't remember how to spell "Poughkeepsie," voice commands on Google Maps can be a very useful feature for finding maps and directions quickly and without typing. Available on Google's free Chrome Web browser, the feature helps users request information from Google Maps simply by clicking on an icon and speaking their requested destination. As with all voice-recognition technologies, you'll need to speak very clearly for the system to understand you, but it can save you both time and keystrokes compared to manually inputting data.
Navigate to Google Maps on a Chrome Web browser.
Click on the microphone icon to the right of the Google search bar on Google Maps.
Wait for the "Speak Now" alert.
Speak your search terms in a slow and clear voice. For direction, you would say, for instance, "Directions from 1234 Central Park West to Yankee Stadium." You can also request a map of a location in the form "Map of..." and then specify a location. Your results will appear on the screen.
- If Google finds more than one item matching your criteria, the different options will appear on the screen and you can click between them. If Google finds no results, try clicking on the microphone icon and trying again.
- Speech-recognition technology improves over time as more users input data and the system gets used to more voices. Expect progressive improvements to Google's voice activated features.
- You can also download a Google Earth plugin to use Earth View in Google Maps and simply speak a location to fly over it (see Resources).
- Google Maps voice commands are also available on Android mobile devices. As with a Chrome browser, just click on the microphone icon that appears in the Google Maps application and speak your search criteria.
- If you do not have a Chrome browser, you can download it for free from the Chrome website (see Resources).
Edward Mercer began writing professionally in 2009, contributing to several online publications on topics including travel, technology, finance and food. He received his Bachelor of Arts in literature from Yale University in 2006.