Aerial Flyover-like Views to Maps: Google is Adding it

The company announced on Wednesday that Google is adding “photorealistic aerial views” to almost 100 landmarks in Google Maps. It will also improve biking directions.

The views, which remind me of Apple Maps’ Flyover feature, offer you an overhead look at landmarks in cities including Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo, according to Google.

The aerial views are a “first step” toward launching the “immersive view” the company showed off at Google I/O, according to a blog post from Google Maps director of product Amanda Leicht Moore. The immersive View will also include indoor views, and information like traffic and the weather layered on the map, Google spokesperson Genevieve Par said. At I/O, Google said immersive View would begin rolling out in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo “later this year.”

In addition to the aerial views, Google is bringing a few new features to Maps. For example, for cycling routes, you’ll be able to see additional information like whether a specific road you’ll be instructed to travel on is a major or minor, if your way includes stairs or steep hills, and whether you can expect to hit heavy traffic.

If a person has shared their location with you, you’ll be able to get notifications when they get to or leave a site. Apple offers a similar feature to the Find My app.

Moore says the new aerial views and location-sharing notifications are now rolling out globally on iOS and Android. In addition, the updated cycling route information will be launched in the “coming weeks.”

Functions of Google Maps

Directions and transit: Google Maps furnishes a route planner, allowing users to find available directions through walking, driving, public transportation, or biking. Google has partnered globally with around 800 public transportation providers to embrace General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), making the data open to third parties. The app can indicate users’ transit routes, thanks to an October 2019 update. The incognito mode and eyes-free walking navigation features were unleashed earlier. A July 2020 update furnished bike share routes.

Traffic conditions: Google started offering traffic data as a colored overlay on top of roads and motorways to depict the speed of vehicles on specific routes. Crowdsourcing is utilized to obtain the GPS-determined locations of multiple cellphone users, from which live traffic maps are produced. Google has noted that the speed and location information it contains to calculate traffic conditions is anonymous. Options available in each phone’s settings permit users not to share information about their location with Google Maps.

Street View: Google freed Google Street View, a feature of Google Maps supplying 360° panoramic street-level views of various locations. On the release date, the part only included five metropolia in the U.S. It has since extended to thousands of locations worldwide. In July 2009, Google started mapping college campuses and encircling paths and trails. In addition, Google launched Underwater Street View, including 2,300 kilometers (1,400 mi) of the Australian Great Barrier Reef in 3D. The images are taken by unique cameras which turn 360 degrees and take shots every 3 seconds.

Immersive View: It was notified at the Google I/O 2022 event that 3D images would be created using Street View. It was in five cities worldwide, with plans to add it to other cities later. Immersive View was to be open initially in the next locations:

Locations with Immersive View

  • Japan                      Tokyo
  • United Kingdom     London
  • The United States   Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco

Business listings: Google collates business listings from multiple online and offline sources. Google’s algorithm incorporates listings automatically based on phone number, address, or geocode to reduce duplication in the index. Still, sometimes information for separate businesses will be inadvertently merged, resulting in listings inaccurately incorporating elements from multiple companies.

Google permits business owners to create and verify their business data through Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business. Owners are encouraged to furnish Google with Business information, including; business category, address, phone number, and photos. Google has staff in India who study and correct listings remotely and support businesses with issues. Google also keeps teams on the ground in most nations that validate physical addresses in person.

After verifying the company listing, business proprietors can further optimize their profile by getting into their Google account and GMB dashboard. In mid-August 2020, Google made it more suitable for business owners to instantly edit their business profile from search by typing the word My business or company name. Google Business Profile, previously Google My Business, allows businesses to create a website for free.

Google Maps can be manipulated by businesses not physically located in the area where they record a listing. In addition, there are cases of people abusing Google Maps to surpass their competition by putting unverified listings on online directory sites understanding the information will roll across to Google.

Indoor Maps: In March 2011, indoor maps were counted to Google Maps, allowing users to navigate themselves within buildings like airports, museums, big-box stores, shopping malls, universities, transit stations, and other public spaces. Google encourages public facility owners to submit their buildings’ floor plans to add them to the service. For example, map users can view different buildings or subway station floors by clicking on a level selector displayed near any structures mapped on multiple levels.

Google My Maps: My Maps is a component in Google Maps established in April 2007 that enables users to complete custom maps for personal use or sharing. Users can add shapes, notes, points, lines, and images on top of Google Maps using a WYSIWYG editor. An Android app for My Maps, originally released in March 2013 beneath the name Google Maps Engine Lite, is also available.

Google Local Guides: Google Local Guides is a volunteer program launched by Google Maps to help its users to contribute to Google Maps. Sometimes it delivers them additional perks and benefits for the work. The program partially is the successor to Google Map Maker, as features from the one-time program became incorporated into the website and app. The program consists of counting reviews, photos, basic information, and videos; and correcting information like wheelchair accessibility.

Timelapse: Released in April 2021, Earth Timelapse is a program in which users can see how the earth has transformed in the last 37 years. They combined the 15 million satellite images to create this program’s 35 global cloud-free images.