Google Maps

Developers: Google
Last Release Date: 2016
Branches: Internet services
Technology: GIS - Geographic Information Systems


Main article: Geographic information system


2022: Start City View from Bird View

On May 11, 2022, it became known that a function called Immersive View appeared on Google Maps, which will allow users to see some of the most famous cities in the world from the height of an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during his speech on Google I/O 2022 that Immersive View relies on "billions of photos" and processes them using artificial intelligence to model buildings, trees and other attractions in 3D. The new viewing mode is designed to help people better understand the topography of the city, turn the prospect so that they can look between buildings, as well as check the road situation and weather conditions at different times of the day.

Google Maps has a view of cities from a bird's eye
If you decide to go see Big Ben, you can check whether there are traffic jams, how busy it is, and even see the weather forecast, "Pichai said.

Surprisingly, this is not a flying drone - we use neural rendering to create images-only impressions, "Pichai said. And the immersive stream of Google Cloud allows you to launch this experience on any smartphone.

Google said in a blog post that the new Immersive View will debut with support for a limited number of cities, including Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, other cities will be added soon.

People expect better experience from the software they use, including maps. In the end, we live in a three-dimensional world, and maps have been a compromise for too long, "said Holger Muller of Constellation Research. Now Google is changing the paradigm with Immersive View, creating a more realistic, three-dimensional perspective of the cities in which we live. We can even say that these are the first beginnings of the metaverse.

On Google I/O, the company also announced some other updates to Google Maps. In particular, the green routing feature, which has already been launched in the United States and Canada and helps drivers find the most economical route to their destination, will soon be launched in Europe.

According to Google, this feature saved more than half a million cubic tons of carbon dioxide emissions. According to Google, this is equivalent to removing 100 thousand cars from the roads. Expanding its activities in Europe, Google hopes to double this figure.

The developers were also waiting for a great gift - the launch of a new programming interface for geospatial applications ARCore Geospatial from Google, which allows you to use the Google Map Live View feature in third-party applications..[1]


Announcing the function of providing information about the load of places in the city

Soon, Kart users Google will be available information about the workload of places in the city. It will be updated in real time so that you can make the safest route possible, bypassing clusters of people. This became known on October 16, 2020.

The ability to see information about the workload of some places began to be introduced back in 2016. During the pandemic, this information became an important tool to help people quickly understand how safe the place they plan to go will be. Now Google plans to expand coverage by at least five times, adding millions of places around the world.

Google Maps users will be able to see the congestion of beaches, parks, squares and even places such as large grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies. Information about the number of people will be displayed directly on the map during the construction of the route.

Google also promised that it will display information about security measures that are applied in browsed institutions and the organization. The user will be able to find out whether customers are required to wear masks, whether preliminary reservation is needed, whether there is an orgy glass to protect employees and whether the temperature is checked by staff. This information should come directly from companies.

An update with these changes will appear shortly on, and iOS Android desktop computers around the world.[2]

Start of coronavirus outbreak demonstration

At the end of September 2020 Google announced a new feature available in. Google Maps Now on the maps you can see the number of cases of coronavirus infection COVID-19 in a particular region.

This means that before any trip, users will be able to find out how many are infected in this region and what is the dynamics of the disease over the past week. The incidence will be displayed as an additional color-coded layer. The areas where coronavirus is most likely to become infected will be marked in red. This function may prove particularly useful in autumn and winter, when an increase in morbidity is expected.

Google Maps Starts Showing COVID-19 Flashes

Google will receive the necessary information from sources such as Johns Hopkins University, the New York Times and Wikipedia. In turn, they receive information from the World Health Organization (WHO), hospitals, local and intergovernmental organizations.

The feature is available for Android iPhone and phones after updates in all 220 countries and regions where Google Maps work, including Russia. Google did not specify whether a new layer "COVID-19" will appear in the web version of the service.

Information related to COVID-19 can be viewed on a separate layer in Google Maps. To do this, open the Google Maps application on your mobile device, click the Layers icon at the top of the screen, and then select Information about COVID-19. This layer shows the average number of new cases per 100,000 population over the last seven days, and also indicates whether this number is increasing or decreasing. Also in Google Maps you can find a list of the nearest medical institutions that conduct testing on COVID-19 and even receive special notifications about the epidemic situation in the region of residence.[3]

How Artificial Intelligence Helps Improve Google Maps

In early February 2020, Google updated Google Maps and talked about how artificial intelligence helped make the mapping service a more useful and attractive service.

Major achievements in the field of AI have changed our approach to creating a service, allowing us to quickly create high-quality maps and receive local information from other parts of the world, "said Jen Fitzpatrick, vice president of Google Maps, on her blog.

Google updated Google Maps and talked about how artificial intelligence helped make mapping service more useful and attractive service

For example, using machine learning, Google only in 2019 was able to map as many buildings as it registered over the entire previous decade. According to Fitzpatrick, the Google Maps team worked with a data team to manually track the overall contours of buildings. And then they taught machine learning models to recognize the faces and shapes of buildings from these blanks.

Machine learning also helped Google recognize areas where there were no official street signs and house numbers, thanks to the recognition of handwritten inscriptions. For example, in Nigeria, machine learning helped Google add 20,000 street names, 50,000 addresses, and 100,000 new businesses.

In 2019, Google Maps introduced the Live View augmented reality feature. Live View also relies on machine learning, smartphone sensors, and real-world images provided by Google Maps Street View. The new feature helps the user easily navigate unfamiliar streets.

By the beginning of 2020, the Google Maps service uses more than 1 billion people monthly. Google mapped more than 220 countries and provided information on 200 million places and enterprises. Google has also made the tool more attractive, encouraging users to self-post place photos, reviews and ratings. Now people add more than 20 million units of content to Google Maps every day.[4]

2019: Companies flooded Google Maps with millions of fake addresses

In mid-June 2019, it became known that the companies flooded Google Maps with fake addresses and phone numbers. Hundreds of thousands of fake outlets appear on the map service every month, and in general there are about 11 million erroneously registered companies.

Journalists from The Wall Street Journal studied addresses in Google Maps and reported that sometimes firms change phone numbers and competitors' addresses to their own, sometimes place their offices in maps to appear more often in search results.

Google representatives conducted an independent study in 2017 and claim that only 0.5% of addresses are false, but journalists believe otherwise. Trying to find plumbing using Google Maps, they found that 13 of the first 20 search results were false. Only two companies on the list were real and adhered to Google's rules, according to which only outlets open to customers should be issued to cards.

Most enterprises that leave fake addresses and phones are in the field of repair work. These are companies that people turn to in emergency situations and, as a rule, do not make preliminary inquiries about them. At the opposite end of the list are cafes and hotels - they almost always indicate real addresses, since their profit depends on it.

Google usually checks registering companies by sending a digital code by phone or email, but it is not difficult for fraudsters to circumvent this restriction. These loopholes harm both real enterprises and customers. In response to a study by journalists, Google representatives said that the company regularly cleans fake profiles and develops new methods to combat fraudsters. In its blog, Google also urges people to immediately report violations.[5]

2018: Google Maps brought a tourist into the desert and forced her to survive there for 5 days

In November 2018, it became known that Amber VanHecke, a 24-year-old student from Texas, USA, went on a trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona using Google Maps. The application showed a non-existent road, but, deciding that it could simply be washed with water, the girl continued to follow the route laid. However, fuel ran out in the car on the way, and Amber had to spend five days in the desert alone.

The car was in the shadow of an abandoned water tank. In five days, only one truck drove by, but at speed the driver could not see the car. After that, the girl built a barricade on the road to stop the next vehicle, but there were no more cars. Next to the car of stones, the student posted the words "SOS" and "HELP," in the hope that they would be visible from flying aircraft, and at night she tried to shine a flashlight into the sky.

Amber VanHekka had to survive in the desert for five days due to a Google Maps error

Amber ate nuts, seeds and dried fruits, as well as pasta, which she cooked on the dashboard of the machine on the hottest part of the day. Five days later, the girl went in search of a mobile signal. She left a note at the car so rescuers could find her.

I'm tired of waiting for me to be saved, "Amber wrote on her GoFundMe page, which she created to raise money for medical expenses after the incident.

After walking 11 miles (about 17 km), Amber was able to call 911 before the signal disappeared. After 30 minutes, an ambulance plane found her car and found the girl, following her signs. The student was taken to the hospital in Flagstaff, where she was treated for dehydration and burns.

Google has not commented on this case.[6]


Display table timeout in restaurants

In October 2017, Google announced the launch of a new tool, thanks to which users will be able to avoid queuing in popular restaurants. The service shows the waiting time for a table in institutions.

Many cafes and other catering facilities provide data on the workload of establishments at one time or another. Thanks to the new feature from Google, users will be able not only to choose the optimal time to visit the restaurant, but also to know the time when the table will be vacated. Thanks to this, you can plan a time for dinner in advance.

Google has created a tool to eliminate queues in restaurants

The Google feature presented uses anonymous user location data that people voluntarily provide to the company in order to receive useful recommendations in Google services.

To access this innovation, the user needs to find the restaurant itself in the Google search engine or on Google Maps, after which you need to open a section with the indicated most visited time.

A similar feature long before Google was introduced into the Foursquare institution recommendation service. Unlike Google, Foursquare and its subsidiary Swarm service explicitly indicate their location, but aggregated data on "checks" and location with GPS are used to determine load.

In addition, the Yelp business services search service realized such an opportunity as a result of the acquisition of the developer of the online booking system NoWait for $40 million in March 2017.

By the time this article was written (November 8, 2017), Google announced the function of displaying table waiting time in a restaurant was not launched. The company promises to "quickly" launch it "for your favorite restaurants." At the same time, Google did not specify whether the new service will work around the world.[7]

Edit Roads

Google added the ability to edit roads to the mapping service in the spring of 2017. The popular mapping service Google Maps received an update. The relevant data is transmitted by the developers of the search corporation.

According to their information, the innovation provides for the possibility of making edits and editing information about the streets displayed in the service. To make changes, just go to Leave Feedback and select Add Road. You can also add up-to-date street information in this section.

The developers note that users, in particular, will be able to warn drivers about repairs or changes in the numbering of houses.

2016: Update design and launch areas of interest

The Google Maps service received a new design in the web version, as well as on Android and iOS platforms. In the updated version of "Maps," designers emphasized roads and more significant terrain. Also, the Google team changed the fonts and removed some of the elements, thereby improving the readability of the map.

In addition, the so-called "areas of interest" appeared in Google Maps - shaded areas that may be of interest to the user. Similarly, hotels, restaurants, museums, theaters and other similar establishments are marked. The definition of "areas of interest" is carried out by a special algorithm that individually calculates them for each user.

2012: Penalty on a competitor's claim in France

The French company Bottin Cartographes obtained in court compensation from Google for dishonest competition and dumping in the cartographic market, reports France-Press.

Bottin Cartographes provides almost the same services as Google Maps, but, unlike Google, not for free. The company managed to prove to the court that Google abuses its dominant position in the market and undermines the business of competitors, making its own services free. Google can afford to lose money until it displaces competitors from the market, according to Bottle Cartographes.

The Paris Arbitration Court agreed with the plaintiffs' arguments and awarded them compensation in the amount of $660,000. In addition, Google was fined $19700.

Google plans to appeal the decision.

"The availability of free high-quality mapping service benefits both Internet users and website owners," the company said. "Competitors for us in this sector are present both in France and in other countries."

Google Maps has been sued more than once over problems protecting privacy, but the company was convicted for the first time for free.


Update pictures in Russia

Google reported that it has updated satellite images in different places around the world, including in Russia. So, pictures of almost the entire Black Sea coast of Russia were posted on the map service of the Internet giant. In addition, the western part of Moscow and the nearest Moscow region from the north have been updated - Khimki, Dolgoprudny, Mytishchi, Korolev and Shchelkovo. New images of Samara, Ufa, Tomsk also appeared, now the village of Chersky in the northeast of Yakutia and the nearby village of Zeleny Cape are visible from the satellite. In addition to Russia, satellite images of absolutely all of Belarus were updated.

Launch of the beta version of Google MapsGL on technology WebGL

In October 2011, Google announced the launch of a beta version of Google MapsGL, an experimental version of Google Maps, improved by using WebGL technology. WebGL is a new Internet technology that allows you to display 3D graphics in your browser without the need to install additional software. With its help, "Google Maps" have become more convenient. The use of WebGL gave developers the opportunity to make 3D buildings more similar to their prototypes, implement smoother transitions between images and accelerate the switch between map and street viewing. However, you do not need to install any plug-ins: one browser is enough.

If the user's browser and video card meet the requirements of the WebGL, he can begin to participate in beta testing of the updated "Cards." To do this, go to the page and click "Try." WebGL paves the way for a new class of Internet applications, allowing them to use graphics of a quality that previously required additional software to be installed on the computer, the Internet giant said.

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