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Google Maps’ mobile phone experience is becoming a richer experience with the addition of layers that you see public transit, Wikipedia entries or your friends’ location on Latitude. For example when coming to a new town, you can turn on a Wikipedia layer that lets you learn about notable sites nearby. Or you can turn on local search results to pull up restaurant or bar listings on your phone while you’re meandering around a neigborhood. To use it, load the Google Maps mobile application and hit the “2” key or click “Layers” in the menu and you can turn various layers on and off.

In a separate development, Google Maps added the ability to do multiple searches so you can find gas stations or restaurants while looking for driving directions. Performing multiple searches can be time consuming if you’re looking for how to get to a destination but also stop at other places along the way. This functionality lets you turn on layers showing nearby eateries or supermarkets.

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