Google Maps Adds New Reporting Feature

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. checkpoint / tʃɛkˌpoɪnt / (n) – an area where vehicles and travelers are stopped for inspection

    Many cars stopped at the police checkpoint before entering the city proper.

  2. visible / ˈvɪzəbəl / (adj) – can be seen

    The designer made the logo bigger so that it will be more visible.

  3. enable / ɪˈneɪbəl / (v) – to make something  active

    You can enable the app by pressing the icon on your phone.

  4. alternative / ɑlˈtɚnətɪv / (adj) – showing different choices

    Doctors nowadays are more open-minded when it comes to alternative medicine.

  5. model after / ˈmɑːdl̟ ˈæftɚ / (phrasal) – to make something similar to another thing

    My grandmother’s house is modeled after European architecture.


Read the text below.

Google’s navigation app Google Maps released a new feature that allows its users to report accidents and speed limit checkpoints.

Google Maps users recently shared on social media that the “Add a Report” feature in the app has been made available to all Android users worldwide. Users first spotted the feature in Google Maps in June 2018. Its initial function was to simply confirm traffic reports. Updates on “Add a Report” were made late last year, but the feature was accessible only to certain countries at that time.

Google Maps’ “Add a Report” feature becomes visible once users activate the app’s navigation. During navigation, a report button appears next to the magnifying glass button and audio adjustment function. Users can also find the feature on the app’s panel by clicking the upward arrow found on the lower part of the screen.

Once the “Add a Report” feature is enabled, users can report accidents and the presence of speed cameras on the road in real time. The feature also displays how many users have noted the incidents. With this function, the reports will allow users to decide to continue passing by the reported paths or to go for alternative routes.

Since Google is currently rolling out the “Add a Report” feature worldwide, users speculate that the tech giant already finished testing the feature, which was modeled after Waze. Waze, which is a navigation app acquired by Google in 2013, allows users to report road accidents, traffic, and police sightings. According to news reports, it is possible that Google will eventually import all of Waze’s best features to Google Maps, including alerts on road closures, hazards, and police reporting.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, is it a good move for Google to launch the “Add a Report” feature worldwide? Explain.
• Do you think Google should import Waze’s best features to the Google Maps app? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using navigation apps? Discuss.
• If you were to develop your own navigation app, what features would you include (e.g. music, different voice features, personal reminders)? Discuss.