Tech Facts

Google Maps is getting more detailed – down to street level

Google is working hard to improve the Maps service. Already last year, it was reported that the maps, fully zoomed in, will show sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and even stairs in selected places.

Now the website 9to5google reports that the new, super-detailed maps are actually underway. At least in some parts of the world – here in Sweden we will have to wait a long time.

Before and after from two areas. Image source: 9to5google

Reading tips: See congestion on public transport with Google Maps

The main goal of the new maps is to make them more convenient for users. The idea is that more details such as sidewalks and pedestrian crossings will make it easier to see where you can go.
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In parks, it must also be indicated where stairs and paths are, to further clarify where one can (and cannot) walk.

The new maps have already been released in several places around the world. Central parts of Tokyo, San Francisco, New York City and central London are included. You do not need to do anything special other than visit the right place to see the difference today.

Just be sure to use the latest version of Google Maps on your mobile, or use the Maps service in your browser (where it’s always up to date, of course).

Reading tips: Google Maps on Apple Watch – now the app is back

Clearer differences between different areas on maps

In August last year, Google released the last major change to Maps.

Then a new algorithm was introduced to color grade the existing satellite data and identify important places and make it easier for the viewer to distinguish different areas.

Before and after the clearer color gradation. Image source: 9to5google

Exploring a place gives you a look at its natural features — so you can easily distinguish 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.
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As many as 220 countries and territories were covered by that improvement. Or more than 100 million square kilometers of land.

This change was made in 2020 and is available to Swedish users today.

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