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If you live in an area prone to wildfires or have a loved one who does, then the Google Maps wildfire tracking is a definite must. You can see where the fires are located, how widespread they are, and the amount of containment in place.
What’s nice about this Google Maps feature is that it’s available on the web and in the Google Maps mobile app. This allows you to keep up with the wildfires wherever you are.
Table of ContentsGoogle Maps Wildfire Tracking on the Web
Head to the Google Maps website to view the wildfire tracking in just a few steps. You can log into your Google account if you like, but it’s not required.
Search for a location or use your current one. Then, select the Layers icon on the bottom left of the screen. When it pops out with the options, choose More.
This opens the Layers window with the Wildfires layer for you to pick. Once you select it, you’ll see a toggle at the bottom of the screen. This lets you know that you have the Wildfires layer turned on for the area.
Each reported wildfire is indicated by a red and white flame icon. Choose any of these icons to see additional information.
When you select a fire icon, this opens a panel on the left side. You can see when the last update for that spot was reported, the percentage of the fire contained, and the number of acres burned. If the wildfire has been named, you’ll see this as well.
You can close the panel using the X on the top right. Then, use the same actions you normally would to move about the map if you’d like to review other reported wildfires.
To find out more about the feature from Google, use the Learn about fire areas link in the side panel.Turn Off Wildfire Tracking on the Web
You can turn off the wildfire tracking if you have other business to attend to on Google Maps, like setting up a custom route for a trip or locating a family member.
Use the toggle at the bottom to disable the feature and return to the original map view. The toggle box will then disappear after a few moments.
Alternatively, you can select the Layer icon to enable the feature and then deselect the Wildfires layer to turn it off.Google Maps Wildfire Tracking in the Mobile App
If you’re on the go, you can review the Google Maps wildfire tracking on your mobile device. Open the Google Maps app on Android, iPhone, or iPad to get started.
You can search for a location or use your current one. Then, tap the Layers icon on the top right below the search box on the main screen. Select the Wildfires layer to turn it on and tap the X to close the Layers window.
Like on the web, you can select a red and white flame icon to get further information about the fire. This opens a window on the bottom part of the screen with details of the last update, percentage contained, and number of acres burned. Swipe up slightly from the bottom to view all the information.
After you finish, swipe down to close the details about that fire and then select another to view its information if you wish.
You can use your fingers to zoom by pinching inward or outward as you normally would in Google Maps.Exit Wildfire Tracking in the Mobile App
Tap the arrow on the top left when you have tracked the wildfire. This returns you to the main Google Maps screen and turns off the Wildfires layer simultaneously.
Interested in how to use other features like this in Google Maps? Take a look at all the uses for Street View!
You're reading How To Use Google Maps Wildfire Tracking
Using your smartphone to control music streaming while driving can be a recipe for disaster. Many accidents occur each year because people are fiddling with their phones while driving, yet you don’t want to stop every time you want to change what you are listening to on your music apps. Fortunately, road trip music can be controlled directly from some navigation apps. This guide shows you how to safely use Spotify (and other apps) directly from Google Maps and Waze.
Tip: need a positive moment in your day? Check out the best uplifting Spotify podcasts.Which Streaming Services Are Supported in Google Maps?
The embedded music feature in Google Maps allows you to control your music streaming apps with a button on the navigation screen. With a tap, you can access the audio player and make selections while actively navigating. You don’t have to leave one app to use another.
The audio player on Google Maps supports YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Spotify (iHeartRadio also seems to be available in some regions) on Android phones and Apple Music and Spotify on iOS.How to Enable the Music Player from Google Maps
To control your music streaming app from within Google Maps, you’ll have to first enable the music player feature.Android
Open Google Maps on your phone.
Tap your Google account’s profile picture in the top-right corner.
Scroll down to “Settings” and tap it.
Tap “Navigation Settings.”
Tap the “Assistant default media provider” option.
Select your preferred music service from the next screen. YouTube Music is already added by default. If you want to connect Spotify or Apple Music to your Google Maps, you’ll need to tap the respective option.
A new window will appear where you’ll be asked to link your Google account (the same one you use in Google Maps ). It will be enabled on all devices. Tap “Continue.”
On the next screen, tap “Agree and continue.”
If linking to Spotify, you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll be asked to allow Google to view your Spotify activity and account data (among other things). Tap the green “Agree” button at the bottom.
Your chosen music streaming app will now be your default music service in Google Maps. If you wish to remove it, press “Unlink” underneath.
Good to Know: if you’re constantly traveling to a particular location, it may be handy to know how to save a route in Google Maps.iOS
Open Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad.
Tap on your Google account profile picture in the search bar at the top.
Tap “Navigation” at the top.
Tap the “Music playback controls” option.
Select either Apple Music or Spotify. If you want to use the latter service in Google Maps, make sure you’ve downloaded the app from the App Store. Apple Music is preinstalled on your iOS device.
Press “Open” in the following pop-up.
If you selected Spotify, authorize Google to access your Spotify info by pressing the “Agree” button.
Your chosen music streaming app will now be your music player in Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad.
Tip: you can easily transfer your Spotify playlists to YouTube Music if you like this service better.How to Control Your Music App in Google Maps
Once you have enabled your music player and are ready to start your trip, follow these steps to access your music without leaving Google Maps.Android
Open Google Maps.
Open the Spotify app (or any other, depending on your preference) on your device and start playing music.
In Google Maps, enter your destination and begin navigation. You should see the music bar at the bottom.
It will display the artist’s name as well as the song playing. You can control music playback from there with a single tap. Press either Pause/Play or skip to the next song. If you have already created a playlist for your trip, learn how to create collaborative playlists with Blend on Spotify.
You can collapse the music bar by tapping on the downward arrow at the top of the card.
The streaming service’s icon will be visible in the app tray.
Interestingly, you can add content from more apps from the Navigation menu in Google Maps. Tap on the icon shaped like four tiny squares in the lower right corner.
You’ll be able to select the streaming apps you have installed on your device. In this example, we can get access to Castbox, Audible, and Podcasts.
Once you tap on the app, you can select a podcast from Google Maps.
Tap on what you want to listen to, and it will immediately start playing.
Tip: Looking for a Google Maps alternative? This list includes the best ones currently available.iOS
Follow the first three steps outlined in the Android section to bring up the music-playing bar at the bottom of Google Maps.
Interestingly, on iOS, you get an extra “Browse” button.
This takes you to a page offering recommendations based on the music you previously listened to. You can “Open Spotify” from there too.
The bar also features music controls, just like on Android. Although on iOS, you have an extra “Go to previous song” button.Which Streaming Services Are Supported in Waze?
Google Maps is not the only app that allows integration with music apps. The Waze app also does so on a larger scale. Whereas Google Maps only gives you two options for your media player, Waze gives you a choice between multiple services! You can use Audible, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, TIDAL, TuneIN or Scribd on Android. On iOS you have all these options as well, plus TuneIN Pro.How to Enable the Music Player in Waze
As with Google Maps, you’ll need to first enable the music player in Waze before controlling music streaming from the navigation app. The steps for Android and iOS are similar, with a few minor exceptions.
Open the Waze app on your device.
Tap on “My Waze” at the bottom. On iOS, swipe left to bring up a side menu.
Press on the gear icon in the upper-left corner.
Look for the “Driving preferences” section and select “Audio player.”
Make sure the “Show on the map” toggle at the top is enabled. “Show next song” is optional.
Check the list of supported streaming apps. If the app you want to use isn’t installed on your device, there is a handy “Install” button that takes you directly to the Google Play Store.
Tip: provide more accurate directions with pins on Google Maps.How to Control Your Music App from Waze
Once you ensure the music player option is visible within the app, enter your destination in the “Where to” bar.
Pressing the “Go now” button will kickstart the app’s navigation mode.
Tap the floating pink music note icon.
Select an app from your list. Waze does not have a default player, so select which one you want to use from inside the navigation app.
The first time you use each app, you must accept the permissions.
When Spotify finally connects, press “Play.” There are also controls for navigating to the next or previous song, shuffling, and “Loving” the song that’s playing.
If you want to change songs/albums quickly, tap on the “Show list” button underneath.
A pop-up will display your most recently played music.
To change the streaming app in Waze, tap “Audio apps” at the top of the screen and select a different one.
The music app you’ve used in Waze’s navigation mode will show under “Audio player” in Settings under “Your apps.”
Tap “Disconnect” if you don’t want to be connected to the app anymore while in Waze.
Remember, it is still risky to change apps or playlists while driving, but these features in Google Maps and Waze make it almost as easy as changing a channel on the radio. It’s also possible to create a radio station on Spotify and find new music to listen to while you’re out cruising.
Good to Know: wondering which music streaming service is the best? Check out our Spotify vs. Apple Music comparison.Frequently Asked Questions Why does music and podcasts continue playing even after I’ve exited and closed the Google Maps app?
This can happen if you’ve forgotten to “Pause” the song or the podcast you’re listening to from the Google Maps app. Even if you’ve closed the navigation or music apps properly before, you’ll need to open Maps again, add a destination, and go to navigation mode. You’ll notice that the audio is still running. Pause it,before exiting the app and you’ll have total silence.
Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.
Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.
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Google Maps Integrates Local Product Data
Google’s Froogle last year became one of only a select few shopping sites to start to offer local, “offline” information (ShopLocal and CNet are the others) in addition to traditional e-commerce. Shopping engines across the spectrum recognize — and shopping maestro Brian Smith of Comparison Engines agrees — that offline inventory information is really the (I hate to say it but here goes . . . ) “Holy Grail” of online shopping.
People research online and then want to buy locally. Why? Because they don’t want to pay shipping, want to be able to return it locally, want it that day and, in many cases, trust the local retailer (even if it’s a big box) more than some anonymous online merchant, regardless of how many happy faces that retailer may have.
As has been widely reported, comScore is launching a tracking study (qSearch Retail) that will formally connect the relationship between search/online shopping and offline buying. This ongoing study will only confirm the increasingly powerful relationship between the Internet and local shopping. It’s estimated that almost $350 billion in offline transactions were influenced by the Internet in 2005.
Google’s/Froogle’s offline inventory data is being provided by chúng tôi and by ShopLocal. And now Google has integrated StepUp data into Maps/Local with a cool twist – product images. It’s buried and there are some kinks, but it’s very promising. Here’s an example.
First let’s talk about the obvious problems (recognizing this is a beta/first step):
3. I’m not able to search or category browse the micro-site/landing page for that product
Assume these problems get solved. Now let’s talk about how this starts to point to a really interesting opportunity for the consumer, the local retailer and Google – and how it much more clearly connects online and offline.
Assuming that the information offered by StepUp and Google is accurate and as the coverage becomes greater, and as the integration becomes more intuitive and “elegant,” this provides demonstrable value for both the user and the merchant.
I’ve argued for some time that all shopping engines will need to provide the “where can I buy it locally?” data to fully satisfy the dominant consumer use case. Right now there are a host of practical “infrastructure” problems that companies like ShopLocal, Channel Intelligence and StepUp are trying to solve. But it’s only a matter of time before “platform agnostic” becomes the norm and local/offline inventory information becomes a must-have for shopping sites.
Google Maps has long usurped sat nav providers to become one of the best map apps and journey planners for mobile and desktop devices, rivalling Apple Maps and Bing Maps along the way.
You can use it to find a destination you know, but if you’re trying to find the address for a place you can see in Google Maps, you can drop a pin on it. This will load up relevant information about the location, as well as help you find directions, see photos, and more.
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Here’s how to drop a pin in Google Maps on Android, iOS and desktop devices.How To Drop a Pin In Google Maps On Android
While you can look through your Google Maps location history to find a location you’ve previously visited, this doesn’t help you if you’re trying to find out about a location you’ve not been to before. A good way to do this, on the Google Maps mobile apps and desktop, is to drop a pin on that Google Maps location.
If you’re an Android user, here’s how to drop a pin in Google Maps using the Android app.
Open the app and use the search bar to move the map view to the location you want. You can also do this manually using your finger.
Once your map view is in place, press on a location on the map for a couple of seconds—a red pin will appear. A pin will appear automatically for locations you search for in the search bar. Pressing on the pin will load details about the location in the app.
If you’re finished, return to the map view and tap once—the pin should disappear, unless you’ve saved it as a location to your account. You can also press X in the search bar to cancel the pin from view.How To Drop a Pin In Google Maps On iOS
If you have an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad, you shouldn’t expect any difficulty in repeating the steps above to drop a pin in Google Maps, as the interface for Google Maps is almost identical on iOS as it is on Android devices.
Here’s what you need to do to drop a pin in Google Maps on iOS devices.
You’ll need to download and install Google Maps from the App Store for iOS first. To manually drop a pin, long-press on the map to drop it. If you search for a specific location, Google Maps will drop a pin automatically on that location. Once a pin has appeared in the map view, press on it to load further details about that location.
Like Google Maps on Android, Google Maps on iOS allows you to search for directions to your pin by pressing Directions, to add a label like work or home using Labels, or to share the pin with others by pressing Share Place. Further information, like map coordinates or a postal address, will also be visible here, along with location reviews and photos using the various tabs at the top of the menu.
To remove a temporary pin (eg. not a saved location) from your map, tap once in the map view, or press the X button in the search bar at the top.How To Drop a Pin In Google Maps On Desktop Devices
Many of the features shown in the Google Maps apps on Android and iOS found life in the desktop version of Google Maps. This is the web version of Google Maps that you can access in any modern web browser on any operating system, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
While you don’t need a Google account to use Google Maps, you will need to sign in to one if you want to save pins or locations to your account to use later.
To drop a pin in Google Maps on a desktop device, head to the Google Maps website. The process is very similar to mobile devices—you can search for a location to automatically drop a pin, or manually press on a location in the Google Maps map viewer to drop one yourself.Planning Trips With Google Maps
Once you know how to drop a pin in Google Maps, you can start using it to plan your journeys. If you want to make the most of Google Maps, use it to give back to your local community using the Local Guides for Google Maps program, which rewards you for reviews, photos, and answers you post about locations you visit.
Google Bard is a chatbot developed by Google that uses natural language processing and machine learning to simulate conversations with humans. It aims to provide helpful responses to questions and assist in various tasks. In this article, we will take a deep dive into Google Bard, how it works, and how to use it effectively.
See More : Google Bard Availability: Your Access to the World’s Knowledge
Google Bard is an AI chatbot developed by Google that uses natural language processing and machine learning to simulate conversations with humans. It can understand natural language and respond appropriately to a wide range of queries. Google Bard has been designed to provide human-like responses, and it can even crack jokes and make small talk.
Google Bard is built on a language model called LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), which is specifically designed for dialogue applications. Unlike other chatbots, LaMDA focuses on generating more natural and fluid conversations with users.
Using Google Bard is relatively easy and straightforward. You need to follow these simple steps to start using it:
Sign in with your Google account.
You will be directed to the Google Bard interface, which has a chat window.
Type your prompts or questions in the chat window and wait for the response.
You can also tap the microphone button to speak your question or instruction rather than typing it.
Google Bard is still in the experimental phase, and it is not integrated with Google search yet. However, Google is planning to add AI writing features to Bard in the future.
Google Bard can help you with a wide range of tasks. Here are some of the things that Google Bard can do:
You can ask Google Bard to search the web for you. For example, if you want to know about the weather in your area, you can ask, “What is the weather like today?” Google Bard will then provide you with the latest weather updates for your location.
Google Bard can help you set reminders. For instance, if you have a meeting coming up, you can ask Google Bard to remind you of the meeting ten minutes before the scheduled time.
You can also use Google Bard to make a phone call. For instance, you can say, “Call John,” and Google Bard will initiate a phone call to John.
Google Bard can help you translate languages. For example, if you want to know how to say “hello” in French, you can ask Google Bard to translate it for you.
Google Bard has a great sense of humor and can tell you jokes. For instance, you can ask Google Bard to tell you a joke, and it will provide you with a funny response.
Google Bard can also play games with you. For example, you can ask Google Bard to play a game of tic-tac-toe, and it will initiate the game.
Also Read : Google Bard AI Available in India: Revolutionizing Conversational AI
Google Bard, Bing AI, and ChatGPT are all AI chatbots that aim to provide human-like responses to questions. However, each chatbot performs differently, and the choice of which one to use depends on the user’s needs and preferences.
Bing AI is best for getting information from Microsoft products and services, such as Bing search engine, Microsoft Office Suite, and Microsoft Teams. It can also assist with basic tasks, such as setting reminders and scheduling appointments.
Google Bard, on the other hand, is designed to be a more creative and conversational chatbot. It can generate poetry, music lyrics, and even short stories. It is best used for entertainment and creative purposes.
ChatGPT, the language model that I am based on, is a more general-purpose chatbot that can provide information on a wide range of topics and engage in conversational exchanges with users. It is designed to be more human-like in its responses and can understand context and nuance in language.
Google Bard AI is a user-friendly chatbot developed by Google that uses natural language processing and machine learning to simulate conversations with humans. It is built on a language model called LaMDA, which focuses on generating more natural and fluid conversations with users. Google Bard can perform a wide range of tasks, such as searching the web, setting reminders, making phone calls, translating languages, telling jokes, and playing games. While still in the experimental phase, Google plans to add AI writing features to Bard in the future.
Q. Is Google Bard free?
Yes, Google Bard is completely free and accessible to anyone with a Google account.
Q. Can I use Google Bard on my mobile device?
Yes, you can access Google Bard on any device with a web browser.
Q. What languages does Google Bard support?
Currently, Google Bard only supports English, but Google is working on expanding its language capabilities.
Q. Can Google Bard help me with personal tasks, such as scheduling appointments or making reservations?
At the moment, Google Bard is not integrated with Google search, so it cannot assist with personal tasks. However, it can set reminders and make phone calls.
Q. How does Google Bard compare to other AI chatbots?
Google Bard, Bing AI, and ChatGPT are all AI chatbots that aim to provide human-like responses to questions. However, each chatbot has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of which one to use depends on the user’s needs and preferences.
Google Drive is a powerful cloud storage solution that makes it easy to sync, back up, and share documents, photos, and other files on your Mac.
This walkthrough will show you everything you need to know about setting up and using Google Drive for the first time on a Mac computer.
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We’ll discuss some of the features of Google Drive, how to sync and back up your files for added security, share folders and files with other users, and more.What Is Google Drive for Mac?
Google Drive for Mac is an online storage service from Google that allows you to back up and sync files to the cloud. It’s similar to Apple’s integrated cloud storage offering on macOS—iCloud Drive. However, Google Drive is available on multiple platforms (such as Android), offers lots of customizable features, and its massive user base makes it an excellent choice for sharing and collaboration.
Google Drive is popularly available in web-app form. However, if you plan to use it on your Mac regularly, your best option is to download and use the Google Drive desktop app for macOS.What You Need to Set Up Google Drive on Mac
You need a Google Account to set up and use Google Drive. You should have one if you already use the cloud storage service on another device. If not, a Google Account’s free to create and nets you 15GB of free storage.
Available space is shared among other Google services like Gmail and Google Photos. Certain Google services, although they use Google Drive, do not count against your quota. For example, this includes documents you create via Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. If you eventually run out of space, you can upgrade via Google One.
Google Drive lets you stream files or folders from the cloud to your Mac instead of downloading everything, so local storage availability is not a major concern. However, Google Drive does require at least 500-600 MB of free space to install.How to Download and Install Google Drive on Your Mac
To install Google Drive on your Mac, you must download the Google Drive installer for macOS. Just head over to the official Google Drive Download page and select Download Google Drive for desktop. If you use an Apple Silicon Mac, your web browser should automatically download an optimized version of the app for M-series chipsets.
After installing Google Drive, open the Mac’s Launchpad and select Google Drive. Then, select Sign in with browser and log in with your Google Drive account. Once you do that, you’re ready to start using Google Drive for Mac.How to Access and Use the Google Drive Sync Folder
By default, Google Drive automatically creates a folder labeled Google Drive inside your Mac user account. You can access it by opening Finder and selecting Google Drive under the Locations section of the sidebar. You’ll then come across three sub-folders: My Drive, Other Computers, and Shared Drives.
Alternatively, you can back up folders to Google Drive without copying or moving them to the My Drive folder (we’ll show you how further into this guide).
The two other sub-folders in Google Drive—Other Computers and Shared Drives—list backups from your desktop devices and items shared by other Google Drive users.How to Use the Google Drive Status Menu
You’ll notice a Google Drive status icon on the menu bar of your Mac. Select the icon, and you should immediately see details such as your Google Account, your storage quota, the sync status of files and folders, etc. You can also switch to the Notifications tab to view any crucial alerts you might’ve missed.
Additionally, select the Gear icon, and you can access your Google Drive preferences, pause syncing, check error codes (if you have trouble syncing), view a list of offline files on your Mac (if you stream files), and so on.
Select the Search icon at the top of the Google Drive status menu to bring up a Spotlight-style search bar that you can use to look up files inside the online storage service. You can also invoke it with the Command + Option + G hotkey.
If you run out of space, pick the storage indicator at the top of the status menu and choose Get more storage. If you want to avoid paying for storage space, you should spend time optimizing your Google Drive quota.How to View Google Drive’s Backup and Sync Options
Google Drive not only allows you to change how syncing works but also gives you the option to back up any file or folder on your Mac.
Start by selecting the Google Drive icon on your Mac’s menu bar. On the status menu that shows up, select the Gear icon in the top right corner and choose Preferences.
Underneath the My [Your Mac‘s Name] tab in Google Drive Preferences, use the Add folder button to add folders on your Mac to back up to Google Drive.
Then, check the boxes next to Sync with Google Drive and Back up to Google Photos (which backs up images separately to Google Photos) options and select Done. Assuming that there’s enough cloud storage to hold the data, you can sync as many folders this way as you want.
Folders you back up will display a Google Drive symbol in Finder. Changes you make sync to Google Drive in real-time. To view them from another device, you must check the Other Computers section of Google Drive.
Next, switch to the Google Drive tab. This is where you determine how Google Drive’s My Drive folder syncs to your Mac. You have options to switch between—Stream files (the default behavior) and Mirror files.
If you want to conserve disk space, keep the former option selected. If you want quick access to your files at all times, switch to the latter; you can change the sync directory to an external drive with more space (more on that further below).How to Share Google Drive Files and Folders via Finder
Learn more about how sharing files and folders in Google Drive works.How to Customize Google Drive for Mac
Google Drive for Mac provides additional customization options to help you determine how the cloud storage service works on your Mac.
Begin by opening the Google Drive Preferences pane. Next, select the Gear icon on the window’s top right corner, and you’ll come across multiple options. You can then do stuff like:
Pick a different streaming or download location for your Google Drive files. For example, select an external hard drive or SSD with adequate capacity as the sync directory if you prefer to download files but don’t have enough internal storage.
Allow Google Drive permissions to upload images and videos from your system photo library to Google Photos. You can choose to compress items to conserve your cloud storage quota.
Specify a maximum download and update rate. This is useful if you’re on a slower internet connection and want to prevent Google Drive from using up all available bandwidth.
Change the default
Google Drive hotkey.Get the Most Out of Google Drive
Google Drive for Mac is an incredibly versatile online storage service. You can sync files between devices, back up any file or folder to your Mac, sync photos and images, share stuff with others—the list goes on. Keep using Google Drive, and you should find many useful ways to get the most out of it.
Also, don’t forget to install Google Drive on your iPhone or iPad and any other devices you own (if you haven’t already) to get seamless access to your files no matter where you go.
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