Google announced some major updates to Google Maps on March 30th. The contents are wide-ranging, such as the fact that AR route guidance by the “Live View” function can be used indoors in some areas, and that weather data has been added to the map. But the most worrisome news is that the company is introducing a significantly improved 3D layer to Google Maps, although it’s unclear when it will be (typically Google’s way). I’m planning.
Using photogrammetry, the same technology that made it possible to depict a wide range of the world in detail with Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, Google is also for its map service. We are building a 3D model of the world.
“We will continue to improve our technology for fusing billions of aerial photographs, StreetView, and satellite images, evolving from flat 2D maps to more accurate 3D models. And it’s going to be faster and more detailed than ever before, “said Dane Glasgow, VP of Geo Product Experience at Google. He spoke at a press event prior to. The 3D layer will allow all of the company’s data to be visualized in new and interesting ways, he said.
It’s still unclear how this technology actually works, but as an example, Glasgow showed a preview of a new 3D route with all the usual mapping data overlaid on top of a 3D map.
The technology will also allow Google to analyze small features such as traffic light locations and building addresses, resulting in better directions, Glasgow said.
“We believe that 3D images can also be used to overlay and visualize a lot of new information and data, such as useful information such as traffic jams, accidents, transportation delays, and congestion. At first, there are many possibilities that can bring new information, “he explained.
In the near future, Google has also announced some new features that will be released in the coming months. The most eye-catching is probably the live view function that supports indoor guidance. Until now, this AR route guidance function only worked outdoors, but thanks to advances in technology that accurately recognizes where the user is (even if GPS signals do not reach), it can now be used indoors as well. It is said that. This feature is already available at some malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle in the United States, but in the coming months, some airports and malls in Tokyo and Zurich, It will also be available at transportation stations (maybe it’s time for the vaccine to arrive and travel to recover). According to Google, the company can locate users by comparing images around them with a database. This allows, for example, to know which floor of Zurich Airport the user is on, so that they can be guided to the gate (although in my experience no place has as many information boards as the airport … …).
In addition, new layers of weather data (not weather radar) and air quality will be added to Google Maps. A weather layer that displays local weather will be available globally on Android and iOS in the coming months, but the air quality layer will first be introduced in Australia, India, and the United States only.
Speaking of air quality, Google Maps adds an eco-friendly route search option that presents the route with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions when selecting a car in the route search (2021 on Android and iOS). Will be available later this year). Also, in Europe, the low emission zones used in many cities are finally supported. It will be available on Android and iOS in June in Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. After that, it will be supported in more countries.
In addition, Google has updated its directions interface with all transportation and route options, depending on user preference and popularity in the city (eg subway in New York, rental bikes in Portland, etc.). ) It will be displayed with priority.
In addition, partnerships with Instacart and Albertsons have added new options for picking up groceries on the shoulders of the road.
As is often the case with Google’s announcement, it’s possible that the company’s most exciting new features will not be available as they are, with no notice of when they will be available. For now, let’s wait patiently because the weather forecast is now available on Google Maps.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.