4 September 2020

Google Maps Receives Biggest Visual Overhaul In Years

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 3 seconds. Contains 413 words

Google Maps has become almost an essential part of life in many ways. Whether you’re trying to find directions to a location, want to check out local destinations, or are trying to find nearby restaurants when you’re feeling peckish, chances are you’ve used Google Maps fairly frequently. Its easy-to-view design makes it stand out easily over other competitors. For a taxi driver, Google Maps can be an essential aid for driving passengers around.

However, Google Maps has now introduced its biggest visual overhaul since 2018. Under its new visual design, viewers will now be more able to easily distinguish between cities, floodplain, deserts and forests.

“Google Maps has high-definition satellite imagery for over 98% of the world’s population,” said Sujoy Banerjee, a product manager for the app. “With a new colour-mapping algorithmic technique, we’re able to take this imagery and translate it into an even more comprehensive, vibrant map of an area at global scale.”

“Exploring a place gives you a look at its natural features – so you can easily extinguish tan, arid beaches and deserts from blue lakes, rivers, oceans and ravines. You can know at a glance how lush and green a place is with vegetation, and even see if there are snow caps on the peaks of mountaintops.”

These new details come from an algorithmic analysis of satellite imagery, which attempts to automatically observe and discern the nature of the environment it is displaying.

In addition to visual overhauls such as forests and lakes, roads and cities are also expected to begin their biggest overhaul since their first launch over 15 years ago.

Old vs New Design © Google

Google will be rolling out visual improvements that will add a lot more detail to roads and streets, such as separating roads and pavements, and displaying pedestrian crossings for the first time.

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.”

 

Old vs New Street View Design © Google

 

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