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Using Google streetview

First off, I am a complete luddite. I do not have a smart phone (no service at home).While in Europe, I buy a Sim card for a dumb phone I purchased in Europe about 5 yrs ago. I have used Google maps at home but not in areas with which I am not already somewhat familiar.
So, for this trip I will be taking a tablet. I have started playing around with streetview but need help in how streetview can help me. For example, when I went to Frankfurt Bahnhof, all I saw was tracks and fences. I could not see how I plug in an address to get from the train station to hotel. Clearly, I am missing a step. Help me find my way before I get lost (I NEVER say I am lost, just not in the place I expected to be :). I love paper maps but thought I might try an alternative. Should I just use Google map function?

Posted by
2721 posts

You cannot get directions while using Street View. Use Google Maps or Waze and you should be fine. Are you using a tablet that takes a SIM card? If not you can download Google Maps for off line use when you have WiFi access.

Posted by
3685 posts

I've used Google Maps a lot to get directions from one place to another. I've never seen a way to do that from the streetview.

Try doing it the way you do it at home.

Put where you want to go in the "Search here" box at the top.

Note the icon in the upper right corner of the first map you get that looks like a stack of books. You can use it to choose the kind of map you want. Default is a street map. Satellite shows the buildings.

Click on the "Directions" box at the bottom left of the page. Put your starting place in the box on the top. Choose your method of getting there from the line of options below the destination box.

You will get options to explore, including walking and public transportation as appropriate.

I used this constantly when I was in Rome in the summer of 2017. I loved it for finding bus options. When I played around a bit, I discovered that I could find bus schedules based on when I wanted to go. How to walk to the bus stops and how long that would take is included.

I did not carry my mini-tablet with me or stare at my phone while walking around. I made small, handwritten notes taken from the verbal directions and referred to them. I haven't saved a route to use off-line, so I don't know how to do that. I'd love to learn how so I can stare at my phone next time.

Note that the directions have some street views along the way, but they do not show exactly what you see every step.

So play around with it to find out how to get to your hotel from the Frankfurt Hbf. Do it where you have free Wi-Fi.

Posted by
7726 posts

Use Streetview to check out a hotel or apartment’s location. Last year I saw an ad for a quiet apt location in London; using Streetview I saw a busy road with buses and trucks passing by so I did not rent there. Once we were in London, a walk by the location confirmed what Street View had shown was correct.

Posted by
3621 posts

...need help in how streetview can help...

Not sure Germany allows Google to publish street views anymore, but if they do, this is how we use street view to "walk" a route beforehand. Plug in the starting address. Do the same for the destination address. Using either the regular street map or aerial view will be fine as either will give you a general idea of the relative locations. Then plug in the starting point address, go to street view, and start "walking" the route as well as you remember (or make notes from step one / two) and make notes of landmarks along the way. You might get "lost" a time or two on the computer, but it's easy to start over. It might take a bit of experimentation to get the hang of it. With regard to "...NEVER say I am lost...", just remember all who wander are not lost.

Posted by
2128 posts

Due to privacy concerns Germany and Austria are barely covered by Google street view. Try another country if you wan to see how it can help.

Posted by
2916 posts

I frequently use Streetview for France, but only before a trip. It's very good, but sometimes you have to pay attention to when the shots were taken (like when I was looking for a particular shop, which wasn't there at the time the shot was taken). The only privacy issue I've seen is that all faces are blocked out.

Posted by
258 posts

Thanks everyone. I am very comfortable with Google maps and directions. Thought I was really missing some aspect of streetview
Here is my ignorance showing: Philip, how do I download Google maps for off-line use?

Posted by
470 posts

Generally, I use Google Street view on my home computer before a trip. I plan a walk (ie, train station to hotel), get the directions, then go through them in street view. I save the directions to my Kindle, but you could certainly do that with your tablet. What I find useful is being able to find landmarks that go with the directions and then I make note of them. If I'm visiting a new town or city, I have found having this information, as well as a visual reference, useful (unless I want to get lost, such as in Venice!)..

Posted by
37 posts

Google streetview is enough when you're good at directions and following maps. So ideally, you plan ahead before you go out and wander. But with google maps, you're able to plan as you go, and see your exact location,

Posted by
1102 posts

Christine: To use off-line maps:

select settings (three horizontal lines in upper left corner)
select "Offline map"
select the bottom option (I don't know what it is called in English)
You will see a map. Move the map around and expand/contract till it covers the area you are interested in.
Press "download"
When it has downloaded you can give it a proper name
Select it
press the pencil in upper right corner

try it at home before yo leave.

Good luck

Posted by
5476 posts

Note that downloaded Google Maps expire after 30 days, but can be renewed while you have broadband.