Google Maps is set to receive one of its biggest make-overs since it first launched 15 years ago.
The popular mobile and desktop feature has been evolving from a powerful navigational tool to a robust daily companion, that also offers helpful information about where to go and what to do, for many years.
For taxi drivers, even those with unrivalled world-class local knowledge, Google Maps has been a useful tool to anticipate volumes of traffic in urban areas and also help locate door numbers late at night.
This week, Google are rolling out new visual improvements that bring even more detail and granularity to the map, making it easier to understand what an area looks like whether you’re exploring virtually or seeking increased detail in the environment you find yourself in.
Sujoy Banerjee, Product Manager at Google Maps Soon, said via a blog post: “You’ll be able to see highly detailed street information that shows the accurate shape and width of a road to scale. You can also see exactly where sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian islands are located–crucial information if you have accessibility needs, like wheelchair or stroller requirements.
“These details are particularly helpful as more people are opting to walk or take other forms of solo transportation due to the pandemic. We’ll start rolling out detailed street maps in London, New York, and San Francisco in the coming months, with plans to expand to more cities over time.”
Higher up in the air Google Maps also has high-definition satellite imagery for over 98 percent of the world’s population. With a new color-mapping algorithmic technique, the tech firm are now able to take this imagery and translate it into an even more comprehensive, vibrant map of an area at global scale.