google maps feature request

i think it's a good idea

Google Maps is the most popular mapping tool on earth, and yet here I am, making a public plea for an obvious feature that the app should already have. If anyone from Google reads this and thinks it’s a good idea and wants to implement it, all I ask is that you please pay me $1,000,000 annually, in perpetuity (negotiable).

For the past week, I have been biking around Nantucket. The island is (kinda) bike-friendly. There are spacious bike lanes, and only every so often do you have to try and cross a five-way intersection, laid out 1672 and unchanged since, that is just wide enough for a single wheelbarrow. Somehow, everyone here drives a humvee? It’s dumb.

Anyway, I’ve been biking around for a bit and have figured out a GPS system that works on bikes. Pulling out my phone and unlocking it to eye the Google Maps route is not any easy process when you bike around, especially while wearing a face mask. My alternative system is that I clip a Bluetooth speaker to my backpack, and use the audio directions to navigate. This system of navigating strictly by sound is what inspired the feature I’m proposing:

Google Maps should shut up when you get close to your destination.

I think anyone who has ever driven will agree with the idea. Driving into New York City and finding a parking space, for instance, often involves circling the destination for a few blocks. If you try to do this with Google Maps audio cues enabled, it’ll keep constantly rerouting — and saying so — as you orbit the final destination. For all of this talk of artificial intelligence, it’s weird that Google cannot identify the driving habits of someone trying to parallel park.

Relatedly, with my Nantucket biking nav system, I’ll pedal out to a location and as soon as I get near, the AI voice from my speaker interrupts the music I’m playing to blare out “TAKE A LEFT IN 40 FEET THEN IN 5 FEET YOU WILL BE AT YOUR DESTINATION,” and so I look lame showing up to a parking lot with very clear signage as the robot voice continues to yell at me. I have since gotten in the habit of shutting off my speaker a few dozen yards out as I go the final stretch by sight and instinct, which is also just way easier. So like I said: Google Maps should automatically shut up when you get close.

This is a great feature, in my opinion. Geofencing already exists! Seems pretty easy to implement my idea! Let me select that when I get within 50 yards or so, the voice just shuts up and I can arrive like I knew how to get there myself, a master of navigation.

A good Tumblr post


Earlier this month, a theory I have held for the last couple of years was confirmed briefly by congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC’s ability to combat online trolls has been well-documented, though much of the press coverage attributed that savviness to her relative youth. She’s just been online more. My theory has been that AOC’s troll-fighting ability has less to do with her age and more to do with the fact that she plays League of Legends.

That game, also known as just ‘League’ or ‘LoL,’ is notorious for its toxicity. For years, the game has been trying and unable to shed the perception that the only way to eventually be accepted by the game’s community is to endure a sustained wave of mean-spirited trolling and verbal abuse. Much of this abuse comes from young, mostly anonymized players, and is supported an ingrained culture of harassment that hides behind the classic “just kidding” excuse.

Remaining in this sort of environment for a sustained period of time can be taxing, but it also helps those who do hone an instinct for determining when someone online is targeting you personally or merely tryingto get a rise out of a generic opponent. AOC has no shortage of people yelling at her online and off. What has been clear for a while is that her League experience has helped her develop this innate sense for who is actually worth responding to and arguing with. This knowledge has given her a leg up online over her non-esports colleagues in Congress.


Thank you for reading BNet. I did not raise enough money for eFoil lessons, unfortunately.