GOOGLE MAPS INCLUDES STREET-LEVEL DETAILS ACROSS SELECT CITIES, MORE COLORFUL IMAGERY ON A GLOBAL SCALE
A significant update is expected as Google Maps includes more detail and granularity to its map, and this will result in changes that would be observed on natural features and city-level details respectively. Based on this, Google says it leveraged computer vision techniques to analyze natural features from satellite imagery which is, in turn, color-coded for easier visual reference. This will see the company’s select cities offer more detailed street information, such as location sidewalks, pedestrian islands, and crosswalk, while for now, the select cities include New York, London, and San Francisco.
It’s understood, this development is aimed at helping people with better understanding on how they could navigate these cities, either on foot, solo transportation as an alternative means, such as scooters and bike, which some have opted for amid coronavirus. Also in addition to this, is that these supported cities promises to show the accurate dimension of each road to scale while offering a better sense of how wide or narrow a street is, considering its surroundings.
Google equally pointed at some notable observations that Google Maps currently displays wheelchair-accessible routes in transit coupled with its attributes on business pages. However, the newly included granularity will exclude more accessible features, like curb cuts for instance, the company equally made it clear that having the crosswalks detailed on the map will be useful in that area.
You might be curious if, in select cities, Google Maps inclusion isn’t going to show up immediately in the company’s Maps app, rather it will roll out to select cities in the “coming months”. The delay is often as a result of larger apps requirement of the staged nature of the release, and looking at the global scale of users on the Android giant’s Maps, its obvious changes will take a while.
It was also figured out from image point of view that Google utilized a color-mapping technique to identify ecological features from the satellite imagery, specifically noting ice, forest, arid, and mountainous regions. Then these features where assigned a range of colors on the HSV color model. Based on this, one will be able to differentiate natural habitats, for example, tick forest will now appear as dark green, beaches differentiated as one will be able to see where a desert begun and ends.
In another dimension, it’s been figured out the update emerged as default mapping app on users Mac and iOS is being challenged. Apple Maps had begun on a rough note after launch, while restructuring and subsequent updates changed the whole picture. In view of this, it’s evident Google Maps is currently faced with a strong rival, Apple introduced 3D feature, Look Around aimed at big city users coupled with expanded, curated guides developed with the help of its partners. With this, Google had to race ahead in order to maintain its top spot.
The latest update is expected to reach all 220 countries and territories supported by Google Maps, and in addition to that, Google also made it clear that the new features will roll out across iOS, Android, and PCs in months ahead.
What’s your take on latest Google Maps inclusion?