Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360Â° interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle and air, or public transportation
This week, weâ€™re 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 youâ€™re exploring virtually or planning a visit.
With this update, Google Maps has one of the most comprehensive views of natural features on any major map appâ€”with availability in all 220 countries and territories that Google Maps supports. Thatâ€™s coverage for over 100M square kilometers of land, or 18 billion football fields!
This update is visible no matter what area youâ€™re looking atâ€”from the biggest metropolitan areas to small, rural towns.
Mapping the rainbow ðŸŒˆ
How exactly does this color-mapping technique work? First, we use computer vision to identify natural features from our satellite imagery, looking specifically at arid, icy, forested, and mountainous regions. We then analyze these features and assign them a range of colors on the HSV color model. For example, a densely covered forest can be classified as dark green, while an area of patchy shrubs could appear as a lighter shade of green.
More detail when youâ€™re on the go ðŸš¶ðŸ½â€â™€ï¸
While seeing natural features can help you get a feel for an area, sometimes you need more information to get around safely and efficiently. Soon, youâ€™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 locatedâ€“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. Weâ€™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.
View crosswalks, sidewalks, and pedestrian islands right from Google Maps. You can also see the shape and width of roads.
Whether youâ€™re exploring a new place or gearing up to head around town, you can use Google Maps to see a more colourful, easy-to-understand representation of the world starting this week. To see natural features, zoom out on Google Maps