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Mace & Crown | August 22, 2017

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Google Maps to Make Locating Parking Easier

Audra Reigle
Assistant Technology Editor

When you’re running late for work, class or a night out with your friends, the last thing you want to be stressed about is finding a parking space. When parking is limited in an area, it can become a huge hassle. Thankfully, Google is working to alleviate that issue by introducing a new feature to their Maps.

The Google Maps v9.44 beta displays parking information near your destination when driving directions are set, according to ArsTechnica. When the destination is set, the parking availability indicator will show up next to your estimated drive time. Three levels of parking availability – easy, medium and limited – tell you how difficult it may be to find a parking space at your destination. The parking information is currently available for public places.

In a blog post from Google on Jan. 27, the parking ratings will be based on historical parking data. It will be a similar algorithm to how “Popular Times” and “Visit Duration” are calculated. The parking difficult function was also announced to be available in several major U.S. cities including San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C.

For the campus, there is no app to determine parking availability in specific locations. ODU Transportation & Parking Services has posted a Commuter Parking Guide that details the areas commuters should try to park at prior to 3:45 p.m. when the evening program begins and more parking opens up. However, the guide does not provide all of the commuter parking locations on campus. For that information, you have to go to the Campus Transportation Map, and it does not specify which locations would be the best for students to try.

The Google Maps beta does not provide parking information for areas near the university. Hopefully, once Google has ironed-out all the details of its next Google Maps release, it will have the function ready for the ODU area.