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Google Maps Adds Voice Commands Now Say ‘Ok Google’

Whether you’re driving solo, or don’t want to assign navigator duties to your passengers, Google Maps just got easier with new voice commands, so you can now just say, “Ok Google,” to activate voice search within the app.

You no longer need to tap the microphone icon or type in your destination search — Google said, you can “enter navigation mode or driving mode, and simply say ‘Ok Google’, followed by a voice command, without needing to tap or even look at the screen.”

You’ll always know when voice commands can be used in Google Maps by looking for a white microphone icon in the top right corner. “When you say ‘Ok Google,’ the microphone will activate and you’ll see a circle with bouncing dots – indicating that your voice command is being heard,” writes google.

For the ultimate hands-free experience, make sure to have latest versions of the Google Maps app and Google app for Android. Then, tap the overflow menu (button with three dots), then tap “Settings,” and finally, tap “‘OK Google’ detection.”

The “While driving” setting allows you to say “Ok Google” during navigation in Google Maps. If you’d like to do this anywhere on your device, “you’ll need to enable the “Always on” setting (on some devices, the setting is called “From any screen”),” google explains.

Google Maps Voice Commands

Google Maps team has released a cheat sheet of voice commands, including:

Directions and travel:

“Mute.” or “Mute voice guidance.”
“Unmute.” or “Unmute voice guidance.”
“Show traffic.” or “Hide traffic.”
“Show satellite.” or “Hide satellite.”
“Navigate home.” or “Navigate to Starbucks.”
“Show route overview.” or “Show alternate routes.”
“What road is this?”
“What’s my next turn?”
“What’s my ETA?”
“How’s traffic ahead?” or “How’s traffic to home?”
“Avoid tolls.” or “Enable tolls.”
“Avoid highways.” or “Enable highways.”
“Avoid ferries.” or “Enable ferries.”
“Exit navigation.”

More commands you can say:

“Call Mom.”
“Find gas stations.” or “Find restaurants.”
“Send a text to Larry.” or “Send an SMS to Sergey, I’m feeling lucky.”
“What’s the weather like?” or “How’s the weather in Seattle?”
“Play some jazz.” or “Play happy birthday on Google Play Music.”
“What’s the closest hotel?”
“When’s my next meeting?”

Voice Commands in Google Maps

Google Maps Voice Commands

Update 10/05: Bringing two of the most important collections of public, cost-free satellite imagery datasets from Earth Engine into Google Cloud: Landsat and Sentinel-2.

In addition, Google is also enabling customer workflows using Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Machine Learning and any other Google Cloud services.

With over a petabyte of the world’s leading public satellite imagery data available at your fingertips, “you can avoid the cost of storing the data and the time and cost required to download these large datasets and focus on what matters most: building products and services for your customers and users,” writes Google. Whether you’re using Google Cloud’s leading machine learning and compute services or Earth Engine for simple and powerful analysis, “we can help you turn pixels into knowledge to help your organization make better decisions,” added google.

Update 10/06: Open source release of Cartographer, a real-time simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) library in 2D and 3D with ROS support released today.

“SLAM is an essential component of autonomous platforms such as self driving cars, automated forklifts in warehouses, robotic vacuum cleaners, and UAVs,” writes google. Adding, “SLAM algorithms combine data from various sensors (e.g. LIDAR, IMU and cameras) to simultaneously compute the position of the sensor and a map of the sensor’s surroundings,” Google explained.

Cartographer builds globally consistent maps in real-time across a broad range of sensor configurations common in academia and industry.

Additonally, Google also releases three years of LIDAR and IMU data collected using 2D and 3D mapping backpack platforms during the development and testing of Cartographer.

For a detailed description of Cartographer’s 2D algorithms, check out ICRA 2016 paper.

The following videos demonstrate Cartographer’s real-time loop closure:

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