Google Maps is great for figuring out how to get to places. It’s less great for actually planning the places you want to go – but that’s now changing.
The company is today introducing “to-do” lists that let you map out potential itineraries or bucket lists, and then share them with friends. There are a few preset lists, such as ‘Favorites’ and ‘Want to go’, which you can fill out by tapping the ‘Save’ button when searching for points of interest. You can, of course, create new lists as well.
Once made, you can open up a list by tapping on the ‘Your Places’ section of the side menu, and then selecting the ‘Saved’ tab. You’ll see places you’ve listed drawn out on the map itself, and can create a a shareable link for your friends.
The fun bit happens when they ‘follow’ button; the list will then show up on their own Maps, updated as you make any changes.
It’s not clear whether friends can contribute to the list themselves. I also wish there were a way to mark the places you’ve already visited, as the lists could grow unweildly over the years.
Still, I’ve often wasted hours trying to plan trips with friends on Maps, switching in and out of notes apps to keep track of it all; I can already see how this new feature will make my life easier, especially as I can download maps for offline use.
I also tend to keep a restaurant bucket lists with my friends, and since pretty much everyone has Google Maps, it’s nice not having to force them to download some third party app if we want to work on a list together.
The new feature is rolling out today to Android, iOS, and the web.