Now With the Weather: Google Maps

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Continuing its quest to tell you everything you want to know about everything in the world, Google Maps added the ability to see real-time weather conditions and forecasts on its maps, the company said Thursday.

Accessing the feature is easy – just click on the same drop-down menu on the upper right-hand corner that allows you to see traffic conditions, and check “Weather.” As long as you’re zoomed-out enough, the map will show you city-by-city and even neighborhood-by-neighborhood conditions, provided by Weather.com.

If you’re visiting an area and want to see what the weather will be like over the next few days, you can click the icon showing current conditions and it will bring up a box showing the four-day forecast, as well as current humidity and wind conditions. If you want more details you can click through to be taken to Weather.com itself.

There’s certainly a convenience factor here, especially for travelers. Previously, if you were taking a trip you would visit Google Maps for directions and to check traffic conditions, and then had to visit a site like Weather.com to see what the weather was going to be like when you got there. Now it can all be done in the same tab of your browser, and for long trips you can even check what the weather will be like in the intervening areas, thus allowing you to see whether you’ll be driving through rainy or snowy conditions.

Like many aspects of the service, it’s also just fun to play with. Most people probably have a weather widget on their desktop or have their ZIP code saved to whatever weather website they use, and thus don’t really have any reason to see what conditions are like on the other side of the country. If you’re getting your weather reports through Google Maps, though, you can quickly zoom out and see how the weather is at your friend’s place in California or your parents’ hometown in Texas. And if you’re at all curious how warm it is halfway across the world, it takes literally seconds to scan the current conditions everywhere from Bucharest to New Zealand.

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