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Use Live View on Google Maps

Discover and navigate places in the real world with the help of Live View. 

Live View availability

You can find Live View Maps AR in areas Street View already covers.

Tip: When you try Live View for the first time, a message pops up on your phone to get access to your camera.

Navigate with Live View

Google Maps offers two views for walking navigation: the 2D map and Live View. With Live View, you get directions placed in the real world and on a mini map at the bottom of your screen. You can use Live View navigation during the walking portion of any type of trip.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. In the search bar, enter a destination or tap it on the map.
  3. Tap Directions Directions Blue.
  4. Above the map in the travel mode toolbar, tap Walking Walking.
  5. In the bottom centre, tap Live View Maps AR.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to help Maps find your location.
    Tip: Point your phone camera at buildings and signs across the street, instead of trees and people.
  7. Once Maps knows where you are, you’ll get directions through the camera view on your screen.
    Tip: For safety and to prolong your battery, we suggest that you put away your phone once you know where to go.
  8. Your phone vibrates when you reach the next navigation step or destination.
  9. When you want to return to Live View, simply tilt your phone to a vertical position or press the Live View button.

Important: Live View isn't intended for use in a moving vehicle. 

Switch to the 2D map view

You can alternate between Live View and the 2D map view when you move your phone from the vertical to the horizontal position. The tilt feature turns on by default, but you can follow these steps to modify the setting:

  1. In the top right, tap your profile picture or initial Account Circle and then Settings and then Navigation settings.
  2. Under "Walking options", turn off Live view Maps AR.
  3. Turn off the tilt option. 

Orient yourself with Live View

Quickly orient yourself to your surroundings and nearby landmarks in Live View. You can also find how far away certain landmarks are from you and how to get there. These landmarks can include iconic places, like the Empire State Building in New York City, or easily recognisable places, like local parks and tourist attractions.

There are two ways to orient yourself in Live View with the use of landmarks: 

  • Search for a place or tap it on the map, then tap Live View Maps AR.
  • Search for a category, like 'restaurants' or 'shopping centres', then tap View map.
    • Scroll through the selection of places, then choose one.
    • Tap Live View Maps AR.

Once you’re in Live View:

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to help Maps find your location.
    Tip: Point your phone camera at buildings and signs across the street, instead of trees and people.
  2. Once Maps knows where you are, you’ll get the distance to your destination. You can also enter Live View walking navigation.
Tip: Your place’s information card might let you know if your destination is on a higher floor in a building.

Improve accuracy of your location with Live View

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app Google Maps.
  2. Enter a destination in the search bar or tap a location on the map.
  3. Tap Your location Locationand then Calibrate with Live View.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Your position on Maps becomes more accurate once more data is gathered on your location.

Tip: Point your phone camera at buildings and signs around you, instead of trees and people.

Find people with Live View

Important: This feature is in beta and only available for Pixel phones.
When someone shares their location with you, you can use Live View to visualise their location in the real world. 
  1. On your phone, open the Google Maps app Google Maps.
  2. Tap your profile picture or initial Account circle and then Location sharing.
  3. In the list of people who have shared their location with you, tap the person whose location you’d like to find.
  4. Tap Live View Maps AR.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to help Maps find your location.
  5. Point your phone camera at buildings and signs across the street, instead of trees and people.
  6. Once Maps knows where you are, you can orient yourself in the direction of the person that shared their location with you. You’ll see a pin that represents their location as well as some additional information on the distance and directional clues. 
    • You can also enter Live View walking navigation.

How to know whether Live View works

When you tap Live View Maps AR, a message pops up on your screen. The message tells you to point your phone camera at buildings, street signs or any element of scenery that Google Maps can recognise against Street View data in the area. Once Google Maps recognises where you are, it displays the navigation instructions on your phone.

If Live View still doesn't work

Make sure that you use Live View:

  • In well-lit areas
  • Outdoors
  • In places where you can point your phone camera at buildings and signs across the street
  • In places where Street View is available

For your safety while you use Live View

We recommend that you use Live View only when needed most, such as when you start your journey, you reach a turn or you're about to reach your destination.

Important: We suggest that you put down your phone when you no longer need directions.

Provide feedback for Live View

Tell us about your experience using Live View for walking navigation.
  1. Tap Feedback Feedback Blue Icon.
  2. Answer the question about the type of issue encountered.
  3. Enter your feedback.
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