If you were trying to get from point A to point B 15 years ago, you were probably printing out a map and taking it with you. That’s how Google Maps started when it went into the world on Feb. 8, 2005, but it’s made a long journey since.
Google is celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of Maps with a redesign, a host of new features, and an installation in New York’s Madison Square Park.
The redesign won’t turn Maps into unfamiliar territory. It adds five tabs along the bottom: Explore, Commute, Saved, Contribute, and Updates. Nested within those are some new elements to Maps and easier ways to access existing ones.
In Explore, setting departure and arrival times for planning future trips is a feature that’s now front and center. It’s accesible by clicking three dots on the map itself.
Commute has enhanced information for riders on public transportation. Users can find out if a train is wheelchair accessible, the average temperature, and—in countries where such things exist—if there are women-only cars or ones with security onboard.
They can also see expected arrival times for trains and buses and how crowded they might be. In New York, arrival times work using real-time data through a partnership with the MTA and in other places, they’re powered by prediction based on historical data. City dwellers will appreciate other transit features like bike-share program information, which includes availability at locations and ride-share options with estimated wait times and prices.
Google has expanded its AR functionality (available on Android phones) to lets users easily access a live view button within Explore so they can get oriented and see which direction they should go. It’s especially useful for travelers in foreign countries, who will also be able to tap the speaker icon next to a place name or address in Maps to speak out the place in the local language, making taking taxis that much easier.
People who are in New York and want to get up close and personal with Google Maps for its anniversary celebration can visit Flatiron Plaza, which is right next to Madison Square Park, from Feb. 7-9 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. for a physical representation of the Google Maps icon that dispenses items and experiences from local businesses, like Breads Bakery’s famous chocolate babka and entrance to the Instagram-friendly Sloomoo Institute slime museum.
Google has also gotten three celebrities—Ilana Glazer, Mary J. Blige, and Andy Cohen—to use the Contribute tab and share their maps of favorite places in New York with anecdotes about each, which makes for some Maps-guided entertainment.