Google Maps offers new features and thinks of cyclists

In the middle of summer, Google Maps is full of new features. The navigation app gets more immersive aerial views, adds bike routes, and gets improved location sharing.

After the May announcements at the I/O 2022 conference, Google is going on the offensive. The company recently announced the deployment of three new features in Maps. The mapping service is thinking of holidaymakers and is going to equip itself with a immersive view. The demo had already impressed in May and this is confirmed with the new images published by the Mountain View giant. Maps Product Director Amanda Leicht Moore confirms the arrival of “photorealistic aerial views” of nearly 100 of the most popular sites in the world. The result looks like 3D navigation for iconic buildings like the Empire State Building or Big Ben.

This novelty concerns cities such as Barcelona, ​​London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. In a blog post, the firm specifies that this is the “first stage of the launch of this immersive view. To offer such a tool, it combines artificial intelligence with billions of Street View, satellite and aerial images in high definition. The deployment being progressive, all users are not housed in the same boat. Nevertheless, Google is already announcing that the option will take place in the Photos section of the Android or iOS app.

Maps improves routes for bikes

Google does not just want to surprise with its aerial view and thinks of cyclists. The firm knows that the bike is gaining popularity due in particular to the weather and the rising cost of fuel. While Maps has offered cycling directions for years, Google says the number of cyclists has increased by more than 40% worldwide. It is therefore important for its application to continue to take account of this more sustainable mode of transport.

© Screenshot / Google

The American giant indicates that the routes will soon improve. Cyclists can compare routes and get more accurate information. Among the expected data, Maps will specify whether to expect heavy car traffic and the type of road taken (main axis, secondary, cycle path or shared). In addition, the tool will mention the presence of obstacles or difficulties on the route such as steep slopes or stairs. With these new features, Google Maps is trying to get closer to navigation applications dedicated to cyclists.

Google takes location sharing a step further

The latest novelty concerns the location sharing. Google Maps already allowed to share its position with other users and adds the possibility of receive notifications when a loved one leaves a place or arrives at a destination.

“Let’s say you’re going to a concert with a group of friends. If they’ve already chosen to share their location with you, you can set a notification for the venue address so you know when they’ve arrived and find them quickly. You can also set a notification to know when they left the room, in case you part ways. I plan to use this feature this summer, especially when I go on a solo hike. By having my sister set a notification for me so she can see when I’ve returned to the trailhead parking lot, I can be sure that someone will know I’ve made it back safely,” says Amanda Leicht Moore. .

Google play it safe with this feature which will not be enabled by default. It is indeed necessary to authorize the sharing of the location to receive an alert, Google emphasizing the respect of private life. This option is available to all users across the world, on iOS and Android.

Google Maps
© Screenshot / Google

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