Google Maps Adds Indoor Live View and Over 100 More Features

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Google Maps Adds Indoor Live View and Over 100 More Features


Illustration from article titled Google Maps Adds Indoor Live View and Over 100 More Features

photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo

It is it’s hard to imagine a time when people still relied on paper maps and printed instructions, but we’ve come a long way. Celebrate, Google today announced that over 100 AI-powered updates will arrive on Google Maps in 2021. Yes, that’s right: 100.

the biggest new addition to Google Maps is indoor mapping support – which Google calls Live View – which helps you navigate shopping malls, airports and other massive indoor spaces by holding your phone up and using its cameras to display augmented reality directions on the screen. Google a this the goal of Live View was to bring the standard Google Maps experience to popular indoor locations where it is not as easy to pick up a GPS signal and there are no signs or other visible location Markers.

Directions while using Live View will appear as arrows and augmented reality icons on your phone screen.
Gif: Google

Live View is based on Google’s global location technology, who uses AI to scan billions of Stree VLook at the photos, then use this information to identify your location and orientation. The live view will not only help you direct you to the places you need to go with the help of arrows and overlays, but it will also show icons for important places. like ATMs, bathrooms or even a check-in counter or baggage claim at an airport. The only hardware requirement for Live View is that your phone supports Apple’s ARKit or Google’s ARCore specs, which is something newer. phones already do.

Currently, Live View is available at a handful of select Westfield malls across the United States in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Seattle. In the coming months, Google a this Live View support will be added to more airports, malls and transit hubs in Tokyo and Zurich, with wider expansion to other cities later this year.

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In addition to interior mapping, Google hopes to provide more context and information about the routes you choose, so the company adds new weather and air quality “layers” to Google Maps. The new layers will be available as additional map detail options, with the weather layer (taken from the weather company forecast) providing standard information on temperature and precipitation, while the air quality layer will provide both smog and some allergy alerts. Google said the weather layer will be available worldwide, and the air quality is first launched in the United States, Australia and India, with other countries to follow.

Here's a look at what the new air quality and weather layers will look like in Google Maps.

Here is a preview what the new air quality and weather layers will look like in Google Maps.
Image: Google

Meanwhile, for people concerned about the impact of their trips on the environment, Google is rolling out new green routing options developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Lab. In the future, users will be able to choose routes optimized for speed or to reduce things like congestion or traffic, which in turn could help reduce fuel consumption, with a number of options between. of them.

Google Maps will soon offer different routes depending on speed and their potential environmental impact.
Gif: Google

Google a this that soon Google Maps will even go by default, choose the route with a lower carbon footprint, assuming the greener route and the traditional faster route have “roughly the same ETA”. That said, you can always adjust your settings in Google Maps to prioritize the type of routes you want to use more regularly.

And men regions of the world where local governments have started to implementemission zones, Google will also highlight these zones while providing specific information on the types of vehicles that may enter these zones as well as any other relevant travel restrictions. Low-Emission area alerts are expected to start rolling out in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Spainand the UK from June on Android and iOS, with many countries coming “soon”.

And like the last piece of Google’s latest efforts to reduce transport environmental impact, the business will start suggesting a wider range of transportation methods for its suggested routes, including the use of bicycle or self-service bicycles, public transportation, etc. Google said it will even prioritize certain modes of transport depending on the city you are in to maximize efficiency, opting for the subway in cities like New York, or for bicycles if Google already knows that is a common way of getting around.

Going forward, to help adapt to how the pandemic has changed the way we travel, Google will also start showing more detailed shopping information in Google Maps so you can understand. delivery options, potential delivery times, minimum order, delivery costs, etc. For starters, Google is working with Instacart and various Albertsons stores across the United States before expanding to other partners in the future.

Here's an example of how curbside pickup will work for grocers and supermarkets like Safeway.

Here’s an example of how curbside pickup will work for grocers and supermarkets like Safeway.
Image: Google

Additionally, to help support the increased demand for curbside pickup, Google is launching a pilot program with Fred Meyers stores in Portland, Oregon, to make it easier to organize and plan your purchase. After you check out, you can simply enter your curbside pickup information in Google Maps, and from there Google will send you a notification when it’s time to go and share your location with the store so that your order is more likely to be ready when you arrive.

And looking even further into the future, Google said it also plans to take advantage of AI and photogrammetry to create more accurate 3D route previews that blend perfectly Stree VView photos, satellite imagery and AI-powered renderings in onequality route to better guide you in your travels.

Here’s an example of the kind of 3D diagrams Google hopes to create by combining photos with satellite imagery and AI-generated renderings.
Gif: Google

Regardless of how you use Google Maps, it looks like Google is using the power of AI to improve its functions in one way or another, so keep your eyes peeled as these features start to roll out in more cities now and throughout 2021.

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