Author Archives: Google LatLong

Take off to your next destination with Google Maps

Not only does Google Maps help you navigate, explore, and get things done at home, but it’s also a powerful travel companion. After you’ve booked your trip, these new tools will simplify every step of your trip once you’ve touched down–from getting around a new city to reliving every moment once you’re home.


Get organized

Now, you can use Google Maps to see all of your flight and hotel reservations in one place–a lifesaver when you’re checking in at the airport or en route to the next hotel in your destination. Simply tap on the three gray lines at the top left corner of your screen, and then on “Your Places”. Then, hit the “Reservations” tab where you’ll see a list of your upcoming trips. Selecting your trip will instantly pull up your reservations, and you can even access them if you’re offline, so no need to worry if you’re off the grid with no service or traveling internationally without a data plan.


trip reservations

See your flight and hotels reservations right from Google Maps

Get around confidently 

There’s nothing like exploring a city on foot–it’s a great way to take in the sights and sounds of a new place. But it can be hard to know exactly which direction to go. With a beta feature called Live View, you can use augmented reality (AR) to better see which way to walk. Arrows and directions are placed in the real world to guide your way. We’ve tested Live View with the Local Guides and Pixel community over the past few months, and are now expanding the beta to Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit starting this week.

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Use Live View to see the way you need to go in a new city

Find amazing local food

Real talk: Food is one of the main highlights of any vacation. With Google Maps, you can quickly find restaurants tailored to your tastes with Your Match, see how long the wait is, and even book a reservation without ever leaving the app (and no, we’re not talking about delicious dinner apps). With the popular dishes feature, you can quickly find out what the must-try items on the menu are.


your match travel

Find restaurants with Your Match

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See when a restaurant is most crowded, book a table, and find the most popular dishes


Soak in the memories and share them with friends

The best part about any life-changing trip? Reliving the memories, and sharing them with loved ones. If you’ve chosen to turn your Location History setting on, you can now use the updated version of Timeline to easily remember that amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant you dined at or the cute vintage shop you popped into. You’ll also be able to see all of the places you went to in a country or a city, and even drill down to the categories of places you visited–including restaurants, shops, attractions, hotels and airports. So the next time someone asks you for trip recommendations, you can easily export the places you loved to a list, make notes about exactly what you liked (like the great picnic spot by the Louvre), and share that list with friends and family. 


timeline

Use Timeline to remember your trip and share recommendations with friends

You can expect to see flight and hotel reservations, Live View (in countries where Street View is available), and the new Timeline on your phones in the coming weeks. Reservations and Live View are coming to Android and iOS, and the new Timeline is available on Android. To learn more about Google Maps, check out our website.

Source: Google LatLong


Want the best prices for your trip? Google can help.

We’re already a week into August, but there’s still time to book a trip before summer ends--or to get a jump start on holiday travel planning. After you’ve decided where to go for your next trip, these new features can help you get the best price and make travel planning a little simpler. 

Book flights with more confidence

When it comes to finding flights, it’s hard to know what the “right” price is--and even harder to know when to book. We already show you whether prices for a flight route are high, low or typical. Starting today you may see the same insights for your exact itinerary. Plus, for some flights we’ll show you how the price has changed over the past few months and notify you when we predict the price may go up soon or won’t get any lower. 


Flight price insights

On top of this, we’re taking an additional step to give you more confidence when booking a flight. When we predict the price won’t decrease for select itineraries booked between August 13 and September 2, we’ll guarantee the price won’t drop, and we’ll refund you the difference if it does. 

We’ll monitor the price for you and if the price drops any time before departure, we’ll send you an email letting you know once your flight takes off--so there’s no work on your end. This feature is available for select itineraries originating in the U.S. with domestic or international destinations.


Flights price guarantee

Get suggestions to continue planning your trip

If you book a flight and receive a confirmation in Gmail, you’ll see your upcoming trip when you go to google.com/travel. Starting this week, we’ll assist you with recommendations for next steps—such as searching for hotels, restaurants and things to do. When you click on your trip, you’ll see your flights have been automatically added to a timeline. If you haven’t received a confirmation in Gmail for some of your trip reservations, you can now easily add them to your timeline.

Trips Recommendations

Find the best neighborhood, and hotel, for you

When you’re booking a hotel, you may need intel on neighborhoods to stay in and what you’ll expect to pay. In the next few weeks, you’ll see helpful information about top neighborhoods, the best time to visit and typical hotel prices at the top of your hotel results on desktop at google.com/travel globally. 

Let’s say you’re planning a trip to Paris. Once you’ve searched for hotels for your destination and dates, click on “Where to stay” at the top of your hotel results. For each neighborhood you’ll see a description, the average price and more. You’ll be able to filter your results for hotels in a specific neighborhood. 


Hotels market insights

We’ll also help you pick the best place to stay by showing you personalized hotel results including places you’ve searched for or stayed at before, and hotels that are close to points of interest you’ve searched for. 

When you’re ready to go on your trip, you can now use Google Maps to access your travel reservations, explore the city you’re visiting or navigate from place to place. Read more about the new features that make Google Maps the perfect travel companion here. Whether you’re looking for the best flight prices and neighborhood for your stay, or you’re on-the-go during your trip, Google can help with your travel needs from start to finish.

Source: Google LatLong


Google Maps 101: how we map the world

The world is a beautiful, messy, constantly changing place—roads are added, buildings are built, and new businesses are opened all the time. Our role on the Google Maps team is to accurately model and reflect this ever-evolving world, and we’re often asked how we make a map that does that. The answer is, it takes a number of different steps, and the right mix of people, techniques and technology.

In a series of posts over the coming months, we’ll give you a closer look at how we build our map—diving deep into each of the elements we use to help more than one billion people navigate, explore and get things done. Today, we’ll start with an overview of the basics.

It all starts with imagery 

Street View and satellite imagery have long been an important part of how we’re able to identify where places are in the world—it shows us where roadways, buildings, addresses and businesses are located in a region, in addition to other important details—such as the town’s speed limits or business names. In 2007, Street View launched to help people virtually explore the entire world, from the depths of Antarctica to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. In the 12 years since then, our Street View car and trekker operations have collected more than 170 billion images from 87 countries. Thanks to our newest trekker that is equipped with higher-resolution sensors and increased aperture, we’ve significantly improved the quality of imagery we capture. 


SV trekker

A Street View trekker

Then you add data

Authoritative data brings the map to life. Our data comes from more than 1,000 third-party sources from all over the world. Some, like the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) in Mexico, provide information about an entire country. Others are specific to smaller regions, like data from a local municipality, an NGO or a housing developer. Our teams carefully vet every authoritative data source to ensure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date data available. And recently, we introduced a new tool to make it easier for local governments to upload dataabout new roads and addresses in their area, right to Google Maps. 

data

Road outlines from one of our data partners, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.


A human touch 

Data and imagery are key components of mapmaking, but they’re static and can’t always keep up with the pace of how quickly the world changes. This brings us to the third piece: the people that help us tie everything together. We have a data operations team staffed all over the world that plays a role in just about every aspect of mapmaking, from gathering Street View images and vetting authoritative data sources to correcting the map for inaccuracies and training machine learning models (more on that in a second). 

We also have our community of Local Guides and Google Maps users, whom we empower to correct the map via the Send Feedback button in Google Maps. Our team reviews the information and publishes it if we have a high degree of confidence that it matches the roads, businesses and addresses in the real world.

operator

Our data operations team at work


Speeding things up with machine learning 

Imagery, authoritative data and human input have gotten us to where we are, but we want to make our maps more useful to more people even faster. To increase the speed of our mapping, we turn to machine learning. Machine learning allows our team to automate our mapping processes, while maintaining high levels of accuracy. 

Let’s look at how we map building outlines as an example. Previously, an algorithm that tried to guess whether part of an image was a building or not resulted in what we dubbed “fuzzy buildings”—amorphous blobs that didn’t look like real buildings when you draw them on a map. And this was an issue—buildings are more than just buildings—they’re landmarks and a key part of how someone knows where they are when looking at a map. To fix this, we worked with our data operations team to trace common building outlines manually, and then used this information to teach our machine learning algorithms which images correspond with building edges and shapes. This technique proved effective, enabling us to map as many buildings in one year as we mapped in the previous 10. 

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Fuzzy building outlines on Google Maps.

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Clear building polygons outlined on the map.

We’re in it for the long haul 

Maps are critical to helping communities thrive. They connect people with each other, help grow economies as people discover new businesses and restaurants, and help people get things done. Although we’ve come a long way, with maps in more than 220 countries and territories to date, we know that our work is far from over. Different regions have different needs, and their own mapping challenges. In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at how one component—imagery—helps us overcome these challenges.




Source: Google LatLong


Grab a seat and be on time with new transit updates on Google Maps

On days when everything runs smoothly, taking public transit is one of the best ways to get around town. Not only is it cost-effective and efficient, but it also lets you stay hands free so you can sit back, relax and maybe even read a few chapters of your favorite book. But unexpected delays or overcrowded vehicles can quickly turn your ride from enjoyable to stressful. Starting today, Google Maps is rolling out two new features to help you better plan for your transit ride and stay more comfortable along the way. 

Live traffic delays for buses

When you have an important meeting, a date with a friend, or a doctor’s appointment, often the first thing you’ll do is check the transit schedule to make sure you can make it on time. Unfortunately, transit schedules don’t always reflect real-time traffic conditions that impact your ride, which can cause a lot of unnecessary stress when you end up arriving later than you thought you would. 


To solve for this, Google Maps is launching live traffic delays for buses in places where we don’t already have real-time information direct from local transit agencies. You’ll now be able to see if your bus will be late, how long the delay will be, and more accurate travel times based on live traffic conditions along your route. You’ll also see exactly where the delays are on the map so you know what to expect before you even hop on your bus. 

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Live traffic delays for buses

Crowdedness predictions

There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being packed like a can of sardines on a hot, sweaty train. We’re introducing transit crowdedness predictions so you can see how crowded your bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides. Now you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to squeeze on, or wait a few more minutes for a vehicle where you’re more likely to snag a seat.

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Crowdedness predictions in transit navigation

You’ll start to see these features roll out on Google Maps in nearly 200 cities around the globe on both Android and iOS today. Interested in learning more about crowdedness trends in your area? Check it out in this post.

Source: Google LatLong


Transit crowdedness trends from around the world, according to Google Maps

Crowdedness predictions come from optional feedback directly from the people who use Google Maps. In fact, you may have received notifications asking about how crowded your subway, train, or bus ride was after navigating in transit mode. To learn more about how crowdedness levels vary around the world, we analyzed aggregated and anonymized reports of crowdedness from Google Maps users from October 2018 to June 2019 during peak commuting hours (6am - 10am), and identified which lines had the highest number of crowdedness reports. Here’s what we found: 


ranked_crowded cities
  • When it comes to the most-crowded transit lines, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo dominate the rankings–each city has 3 lines in the top 10.

  • New York’s famed L train–which, until recently, was on the verge of closing for repair– is the only U.S. transit line to make it into the top 10.

Among many U.S. cities, the most-crowded public transit routes are buses. In Los Angeles, for example, bus routes 152, 105, and 704 are among the most-crowded.

Source: Google LatLong


Bringing slave dwellings out of the shadows with Google Street View

Editor’s note:In honor of Juneteenth, we’re sharing this story about a Google Earth Outreach project that highlights African American history. In today’s post, Justin Reid, Director of African American programs, and Peter Hedlund, Director of Encyclopedia Virginia—both of the state humanities council Virginia Humanities—talk about documenting slave dwellings using Google Street View.

On Virginia’s rural farms, in city townhouses, and beneath grand plantations are spaces where enslaved African-Americans lived from the 1600s until sometimes long after Emancipation. Every day, people pass by these slave dwellings, which are often in disrepair, with no idea who lived there. These dwellings and other African-American historic sites are an important part of Virginia’s history—yet out of the nearly 250,000 cultural and historic resources documented by the state, only one percent are officially identified as reflecting African-American history.

It’s easy to forget about the painful yet important parts of American history when we can’t see them. By immersing ourselves in the places where enslaved communities once lived, we are confronted with a history that cannot be ignored. So to virtually preserve these living spaces and give people access to them, we created custom Street View imagery for tours of a dozen slave dwellings throughout Virginia, which date from the late 1700s to the mid 1800s.

How virtual preservation opens doors to slave dwellings

Several years ago, when Google Street View began to include views of interiors, we saw an opportunity to document slave dwellings for Encyclopedia Virginia, where we collect resources about the state’s history and culture. Most of the former housing sites for enslaved people are on private property, and therefore not open to visitors. Our virtual tours give access to places that people can’t visit in person.

The Street View tours also play a role in virtual preservation. Many of the dwellings are in poor condition—even in worse shape than when we started photographing them a few years ago. By creating the virtual tours, we preserve the dwellings for future generations.

For the tours, we consciously chose a range of dwelling types and locations to highlight how ubiquitous slavery was throughout Virginia—from the Eastern Shore to Mecklenburg County. People tend to think that enslaved people only lived on rural plantations. But we have tours of slave dwellings in urban cities like Alexandriaand Richmond, which challenge the stereotypes of how enslaved people lived.

Ensuring enslaved people’s place in history

Justin has a personal connection to the Street View tour of a slave dwelling at Ampthill, a former plantation in Cumberland County. His great-great grandfather, Reverend Jacob Randolph Sr., was born into slavery at Ampthill in 1859. The dwelling in the tour, a brick two-story structure, is beside the main plantation house; the kitchen quarters building, where enslaved people also lived, still stands.
Mapping Virginia's Slave Dwellings: Preserving Black History with Street View

The Ampthill slave quarters, where Justin’s great-grandfather may have lived as a child, illustrate the challenges of documenting dwellings. Previous owners of Ampthill thought one of the structures was a post-Civil War weaver’s cottage. When we brought Jobie Hill, a preservation architect and founder of Saving Slave Houses, to Ampthill, she immediately identified the building as a pre-Civil War slave dwelling. So many slave houses are misidentified, which hurts efforts to document them.

We hope that if more people are aware of slave dwellings and view our Street View tours, more sites can be documented and perhaps preserved—and more of us recall the enslaved people who are too often left out of our historical narratives. The people and the places they lived in deserve to be part of the American story.

Source: Google LatLong


Why giving blood matters, and how you can help

My father was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a teenager. He spent most of his life on insulin, until he went into kidney failure when I was four years old. After years on the donor list, a kidney and pancreas became available. He received seven blood transfusions in his 14-hour surgery. But two years later, his body rejected the kidney and he was back to square one. Through the kindness of his brother who was a match, my father received his second kidney transplant, along with several pints of blood. Without blood donors, my father wouldn’t have survived those surgeries and might not be alive today, 20 years later.

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Katen and her dad

My father's journey has made me passionate about ensuring that people like him have access to blood when they need it. Although 45 percent of Americans have been personally affected by blood donation, only 3 percent of Americans regularly donate blood.

I’m personally unable to donate blood, but I’ve found another way to give back to the cause: organizing blood drives at Google. Through my work organizing 20 blood drives, I’ve encountered countless others who have personal ties to blood donation, including Googlers like Daniel Otts, who regularly donates blood in memory of his son Ferris who required plasma infusions after being born prematurely. Losing Ferris forever changed Daniel’s outlook on blood donation. “I remember how thankful I was that someone, an anonymous stranger, had given of themselves so unselfishly for the benefit of someone else, quite possibly in a life or death situation,” Daniel told me.

Through these drives, we’ve collected thousands of pints of blood. And through Google’s partnership with the American Red Cross, which uses Google Maps Platform to help people find a blood drive near them, we’ve reached thousands more people across the U.S.

This technology also helped Temie Giwa-Tubosun, a Nigerian native and founder of LifeBank, an app that uses Google Maps Platform to connect blood banks with drivers, hospitals, and patients in need. To date, Temie’s app has drastically cut delivery time of blood from 24 hours to less than 45 minutes and helped save more than 4,000 lives.

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Through my own experience, I know how important it is to give blood. And Daniel and Temie are proof of that, too. On World Blood Donor Day, we hope you’ll visit the Red Cross site to find a blood drive near you and plan your donation.

Source: Google LatLong


Updates in Maps and Search to help during times of crisis

SOS alerts help you quickly access authoritative, real-time information during times of crisis. Today, we’re improving SOS alerts by adding visual information about natural disasters and a new navigation warning system on Google Maps so you can more reliably know where a disaster is and anticipate where it’s headed. Read on to learn about what’s changing, along with three ways to help you stay connected and informed during times of emergency.

Hurricane forecast cones, earthquake shakemaps and flood forecasts

With SOS alerts, you can already see important crisis information—a summary of what’s happening, relevant news stories, emergency phone numbers and websites, Twitter updates from local authorities, and tips to help you find your way to safety. Now, you’ll also be able to see detailed visualizations about hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods to give you a better understanding of the situation on the ground.

In the days leading up to a hurricane, you’ll see a crisis notification card on Google Maps that automatically appears if you’re near the impacted area. This card will direct you to a hurricane forecast cone, which shows the prediction of the storm’s trajectory along with information about what time it’s likely to hit certain areas, so you can use this information to plan how to react.

After an earthquake strikes, tapping on the crisis card will display the earthquake’s shakemap—a visualization that shows you its epicenter, its magnitude, along with color coding to indicate how intense the shaking was in surrounding areas. This information can help you quickly assess the reach of the earthquake and and identify areas likely to have experienced the highest impact.  And in India, where over 20 percent of global flood-related fatalities occur, you’ll now be able to see flood forecasts that show you where flooding is likely to occur in addition to the expected severity in different areas.





Crisis navigation warnings on Google Maps

Later this summer, you’ll see a prominent alert if we think your route may be affected by crisis activity— and when possible, we’ll do our best to route you away from the disrupted area.


nav warning

During a crisis, every minute matters. Here are three other ways you can use Google Maps to stay connected and quickly get the help and information you need:

  • Share your location:Letting loved ones know where you are is vital during fast-moving, chaotic situations. From the crisis card, you can share your live location with friends and family for as little as 15 minutes, or until you decide to stop sharing.

  • See and report road closures: Turn on the traffic layer to see all known and suspected road closures in an area. If you encounter a closure on your drive, you can report it to help others nearby. You can also confirm whether or not a road is still closed with a quick tap on Android.

  • Share crisis information directly with the ones you care about:Tap on theshare button from the crisis card to keep friends and family up to date about the situation. They’ll be directed to Google Maps where they’ll see all available crisis information- which could include a summary, visualizations, emergency contact information, and more.

Hurricane forecast cones and earthquake shakemaps will start rolling out in the coming weeks on Android, iOS, desktop, and mobile web. Flood forecasts visualizations will soon roll out starting in Patna, India, and then expand to the Ganges and Brahmaputra regions on Android, desktop, and mobile web.



Source: Google LatLong


Stonewall Forever: Honoring LGBTQ+ history through a living monument

Many people have shaped my life—my parents who brought me into the world; Miss Moran, my fifth grade teacher, who pushed me to be a better student; my late mentor Bill McCarthy who helped guide my career early in my professional life. But perhaps the most meaningful people in my life are my husband, whom I have been with for nearly 30 years, and my son, who gives me more joy (and a fair amount of frustration) than I could have ever imagined. For them, I owe thanks in large part to a valiant handful of New Yorkers whom I've never me. Their act of defiance ultimately enabled me to live, love and be who I am.

It was early in the morning on Saturday, June 28, 1969, when the police raided the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, one of the few places at the time where LGBTQ people could gather openly. New Yorkers fought back. This altercation, known as the Stonewall Riots, led to angry protests that lasted for days and sparked the modern fight for LGBTQ rights around the world.

In 2016, President Obama designated Christopher Park, the small triangle of green that sits in front of the Stonewall Inn, as the first national monument dedicated to telling the story of this community’s struggle. The Stonewall National Monument serves as a reminder of the continuing fight for civil and human rights.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. To recognize this pivotal moment in history, the LGBT Community Center of New York City (The Center) spearheaded the creation of Stonewall Forever, an interactive “living monument” to 50 years of Pride. Google provided support in the form of a $1.5 million grant from Google.org, and volunteers from Google Creative Lab helped bring the experience to life.

Stonewall Forever connects diverse voices from the Stonewall era to the millions of voices in today’s LGBTQ community. The monument is made up of countless colorful pieces that contain digitized historical artifacts, oral histories capturing the early days of the movement, interviews with new voices of LGBTQ equality, and photos and messages added by people around the world.

Anyone can visit Stonewall Forever on the web, and through an augmented reality app that allows you to experience the Stonewall National Monument in New York’s Christopher Park. Explore the past, present and future of Pride and then add your own piece to the ever-growing monument. You can dive deeper by watching a short documentary, directed by Ro Haber, featuring an inclusive array of activists, from across generations, each giving their own interpretation of the Stonewall legacy.

Beyond our support of Stonewall Forever, we’re launching Pride Forever, a campaign honoring the past, present, and future of the LGBTQ+ community. This theme is rooted in sharing the past 50 years of global LGBTQ+ history with our users. Today’s interactive Google Doodle celebrates 50 years of Pride by taking us through its evolution over the decades, with animated illustrations by Doodler Nate Swinehart.  

Google Arts & Culture is also preserving even more archives and stories from LGBTQ history, in partnership with The Center,GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco, the National Park Service’s Stonewall Monument, and Cyark. The collection includes never-before-seen photos and videos, 3D models of the Stonewall monuments, and a virtual walking tour of LGBTQ sites in the Village.

Here are a few other ways we’re helping people celebrate Pride.

  • Like past years, we’ll identify major Pride parade routes on Google Maps.
  • Later this month, check out Google Play for apps, movies, books, and audiobooks to help the LGBTQ+ community share stories and also learn more about the history of LGBTQ+ rights.
  • And through Google My Business, business owners can mark their businesses as “LGBTQ-friendly” and as a “Transgender Safe Space” on their Google listing to let customers know they’re always welcome. As of today, more than 190,000 businesses have enabled these attributes on their business listing.

Today, Stonewall lives on in images, histories and monuments—old and new. It also lives on in the LGBTQ community and its supporters. The past paves the way for the future, and Stonewall Forever reminds us that alone we’re strong, but together we’re unstoppable. Pride is forever.

Source: Google LatLong


Pick up the pace with three fitness apps, powered by Google Maps

When I began training for my first marathon 12 years ago, planning my routes was a big challenge. I’d often write directions on my wrist or carry a crumpled up paper map in my pocket. I’ve run many more marathons since then, and just last month, ran the Boston Marathon for the first time. But my training for Boston was vastly different because of my work at Google. I’m on a team that helps businesses—like those who build location-enabled fitness apps—to integrate data and insights from Google Maps into their products. So this time around I relied on a few of those apps to train, instead of my usual primitive methods (pro tip: paper maps don’t handle sweat very well).

Today’s the last day of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, so I’m highlighting a few companies that are using Google Maps to keep their users (like me!) in the zone. Here are a few of my personal favorites and how they use Google Maps Platform.

Garmin

Overview of my route and stats from my Garmin Forerunner


Feeling a little safer while training

New runners don’t have to train without a location-enabled device (known in the running community as running “naked”). But if you’re like me and have been running for over a decade, you may remember the thrill of having only a vague sense of your pace and distance––and of course, getting hopelessly lost.

Now I rely on my smartphone and Garmin Forerunner to help keep me on pace and on track, and suggest new trails and routes. Garmin uses our highly accurate location technology to provide metrics such as speed, distance, and elevation, as well as safety features. When running on remote trails, I can quickly and discreetly activate the assistance feature if I ever feel unsafe and share my location with pre-selected emergency contacts.

NordicTrack

Doing a Street View run in Lago di Vernago, Italy


Training with real-world imagery and conditions

When I’m not running outdoors, I’m logging miles on my NordicTrack treadmillbefore my kids wake up. Although treadmillers seem impervious to that particular flavor of boredom, running indoors doesn’t mean staring at a blank wall anymore.

NordicTrack, a treadmill made by ICON Health & Fitness, the world’s largest fitness equipment manufacturer, lets you trace a route anywhere in the world and run that route using Google Street View. So when temperatures hit triple digits or dip anywhere below 50 degrees (which is Texan for “freezing”), I can do a loop around my favorite neighborhood in Paris, or run up to one of Mount Everest’s base camps without leaving the house.

I can also run several marathon courses right on the treadmill. Using information from Google Maps Platform, NordicTrack automatically accounts for real-world conditions. When training for the Boston Marathon this year, I was able to simulate the infamous Heartbreak Hill (worth preparing for both physically and mentally!). And when doing a coached workout, the speed automatically increases during intervals, allowing me to focus on my workout without having to make manual adjustments.

ZombiesRun

My stats after a Zombies, Run! adventure

Finding new ways to push my limits

Sometimes you have to find new ways to motivate yourself to run farther or to get out and train when you’re not feeling up to it. As someone who suffers from kinemortophobia (that’s a fear of zombies, to save you the Google search), I was reluctant to try Zombies, Run!. But I’m so glad I did. It combines storytelling, role playing, gamification, and fitness to help people push their limits. The game weaves our location data and distance info into a riveting and surprisingly hilarious storyline where you avoid zombies and collect supplies along your journey. Zombies, Run! helps push me a little harder whenever I hear those zombies getting closer and helps me run just a little further when I’m close to the end of a mission.

While zombies chase me as I train for the Tunnel Marathon in September, I’m hoping to break my personal record and qualify for the next Boston Marathon. Whether it’s discovering new running routes around the world on my treadmill or exploring new trails with my Garmin (still managing to get lost sometimes!), I’m proud to be a part of the team that brings Google Maps to fitness companies to keep us connected and moving.

Source: Google LatLong