Google Maps

How do you improve Google maps?


Google maps is one of my all-time favorite apps. As an explorer, I use Google maps extensively. While preparing for my PM interviews I thought I should start with google maps only. 

For the sake of this blog post, I’ll try to find a general pain point and try to solve it by adding or updating a feature on Google maps. Going along, I will try to capture my thought process. Hope you enjoy the journey.

Product Goal

To help people navigate from point A to B.

Features that I love about Google maps

Google map collects valuable information and images about the places I have been. The information includes parking facility, opening/ closing time, quality/ features like if a restaurant serves breakfast, satisfaction rate, etc. Google maps terms users like me ‘Local Guides’ and gives us badges according to our contribution. But the information is still not showcased on Google maps.

User Segregation

There are mainly 3 types of users on Google maps

  1. Cab drivers: who use Google maps to find the shortest routes between two points.
  2. Regular people: when the route or location is unknown.
  3. Explorers/ Travellers: who plan their trip on Google maps.

Pain Points

I am a type 3 user and this is from personal experience. I like to list down my places of interest on Google maps and try to find the best possible route and plan for the entire trip. Now the problem is

  1. It’s a manual process. There are so many parameters apart from the distance that is not covered on Google maps. For example, if you do not consider the opening time and closing time of a place you might reach the place at the wrong time. It happened to me many times.
  2. Google maps gives you an approximate travel time but does not have information for the availability of commutation. This is tricky, especially in remote places.
  3. A tourist can only know about spots that are mentioned in different travel blogs. So the chances of missing good places are very high.


  1. Once you enter a couple of places in a city you want to visit, Google maps can autosuggest the best route by considering the route, travel time, crowd, opening, and closing time.
  2. Weather data can be integrated with the trip to avoid any natural mishap.
  3. Apart from the given list of places, Google maps can suggest additional spots that local guides are visiting or have a good rating.
  4. There should be scope to add lunch, snacks, and dinner breaks in-between spots, where Google maps can suggest nearby favored places to eat.
  5. Similarly, lodging can be arranged in advance in hotels with better precision.

 I am visualizing something where I can prepare my entire travel itinerary without additional support.

Monetary Scope

There are huge monetary scopes in this feature.

  1. To begin with ads and ranking in the nearby restaurants, hotels are possible.
  2. Travel companies like MakeMyTrip, Airbnb can collaborate with Google maps for trip planning.


As a PM I would choose our top-performing ‘local guides’ in the most popular tourist spots only for A/B testing. The metrics I would monitors are

  1. How many are using the suggestions (new places to explore, eat, and stay)?
  2. Are they following the autogenerated routes?
  3. How often are they completing the trip?


I choose the explores/travelers because Google maps is a necessity for them. Google maps is already helping cab drivers/ regular commuters who are looking for the shortest routes, I don’t see much scope for a new feature there.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this process of exploring Google maps and visualizing new features with total freedom. Let me know what do you think.