Tag Archives: Maps

Shellebrating Christmas Island’s extraordinary nature with Street View and Google Earth

In December, we took the Street View trekker to Christmas Island, a remote tropical territory of Australia just south of Indonesia. With Parks Australia, we joined the island’s red crabs as they marched in the millions from the forest to the sea for their annual migration.


Now it’s time to shellebrate. Starting today on Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, you can explore Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands’ unique wildlife, dazzling ocean vistas and lush rainforests, including the grand finale of the red crab migration—the spawning. The red crabs wait all year for this very moment—and the precise alignment of the rains, moon and tides—to release their eggs at the coastal waters.

Christmas Island’s remote location makes it home to a wild and diverse ecosystem—including 600 species of tropical fish, 14 species of terrestrial crabs, more than 100 bird species and four native reptile species. Exploring its wetlands and blowholes and coastline, you can see for yourself why the island is often called “Australia’s Galapagos.”

Christmas Island’s nature and wildlife is so treasured and protected that the crabs have right of way. Roads are often closed during the migration, and Parks Australia have erected fences to direct the crabs to safe crossing points with under-road passes, or fly-over bridges. Now you can join the island’s 45 million red crabs as they crawl along the forest floor, climb the cliffs and finally, spawn at the water’s edge.

Scuttle over to Street View and Google Earth to experience the wonderland of wildlife on Christmas Island and the white sand beaches of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. And as you step into this moment in time, we welcome you to join the crabs as they lead this magnificent dance of nature.

Where’s Waldo? Find him in Google Maps

Hello, friends!

My name is Waldo. I love to travel around the globe—it’s a whole world of fun.

I’m always on the lookout for fantastic new places to explore. My last adventure started in sun-sational Mountain View, CA where I visited the terrific team at Google, including Google Maps product managers Max Greenwald and Shreena Thakore. Wow!

By the way, I’m not traveling on my own. Wherever I go, my trusty friends Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard, and even that pesky Odlaw go as well. You can come, too—all you have to do is find me!

Starting today, you can use Google Maps to join in my amazing adventures for April Fools this week. Are you prepared for a perplexing pursuit? I’ve shared my location with you on Android, iOS and desktop (rolling out now). To start the search, simply update your app or visit google.com/maps on desktop. Then press play when you see me waving at you from the side of your screen. You can even ask the Google Assistant on your phone, Chromebook or Home device, “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?” to start.

Waldo Maps GIF

The fun doesn’t stop there. Once you spot me, you’ll be transported to places all around the world, where you can search for me over and over again. Incredible!

You can win wonderful and wacky badges throughout your journey by finding me and my friends. Remember, there’s Woof (but all you can see his is tail), Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, and Odlaw.

Ready to join me on my travels? If you find me, take a screenshot and share it with @GoogleMaps on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WaldoMaps. Let the journey begin!

Source: Google LatLong


Google Maps learns 39 new languages

Fourteen years ago, Google Maps looked a lot different, and it was only in English. Fast forward to today, and now more than 1 billion people use Google Maps to discover new places, find the best driving, biking, and walking routes, and get things done in the real world.


Today, we’re making Google Maps even more useful by adding 39 new languages—spoken by an estimated 1.25 billion people worldwide: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bosnian, Burmese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Georgian, Hebrew, Icelandic, Indonesian, Kazakh, Khmer, Kyrgyz, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Mongolian, Norwegian, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Zulu.

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Google Maps in Armenian

Get started with Google Maps today by downloading the app on Android or iOS, or going to google.com/maps on desktop.

#LetsGuide: Someone out there needs a guide like you

There are at least seven kinds of Local Guides who share their knowledge on Google Maps. And there are many more reasons that people in the Local Guides community help others discover the right places in cities around the world. Our #LetsGuide campaign shows what our Local Guides are into, from the dog parks they photograph to every coffee shop they obsessively review. Even if you’re not a Local Guide (and you can be one, too), you can put topics that matter to you on the Map.

One of the best ways? Make lists.

Just check out this Barcelonian with a “furry friend” who keeps an eye out for pet-friendly places. Or there are lists like Iconic Theatres in Buenos Aires, Places to Watch Cricket in Delhi, and this irresistible round-up of Tacos de Carnitas in Mexico City. Here are five tips for creating a Google Maps list that you’ll want the world to see:

  1. Give your list a clear title, so people know what it’s about. Feel free to add a little flair: “Jazz Clubs” are fun, but what about “Jazz Clubs with the Best Sax Solos in Lisbon”? 
  2. Say more about your list in the “Description” to let your personality shine through. For example: “Check out these spots in Barcelona if you’re a backpacker on a budget.” And don’t forget to add #LetsGuide!
  3. Include at least five local places that fit your theme.
  4. Use the Comments field (on desktop and Android) to add details like your favorite item on the menu or a can’t-miss exhibit.
  5. Make the list public by going to Sharing options, and post it on social with #LetsGuide
For first-timers, there are two ways to get started. You can either search for a place you want to put on your the list, open it, and tap "SAVE." Or start with your title, by going to the Google Maps menu, tapping "Your places," then "SAVED," and the + sign at the bottom right of your screen.
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We’ll be featuring our favorite lists on our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages, so make sure to use #LetsGuide when you share your lists on social and we might feature yours. Need a little inspiration to get started? Check out our #LetsGuide wheel for some ideas of the types of people you can help.

Source: Google LatLong


Introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation

Google Maps was built to help people navigate and explore the world, providing  directions, worldwide, to people traveling by car, bicycle or on foot. But in city centers, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs. Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn’t always readily available or easy to find. To make public transit work for everyone, today we’re introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs.

Adam, Lucy, Omari and Meridyth shared their experience using public transportation.

To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration—for example, whether a transit station has accessible stops, platforms, entrances and exits.  Starting today, this feature is rolling out in major metropolitan transit centers around the world, starting with London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney. We're looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps.

Access

In addition to making public transportation more accessible, people around the world have been helping us add accessibility information to Google Maps. Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions—like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom—for more than 12 million places. Additionally, we’ve been busy capturing and updatingStreet View imagery of transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time.

 

We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you’re on crutches or pushing a stroller. With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contribute local knowledge, we’re making progress toward a more accessible world for everyone.

Source: Google LatLong


Putting Mario on the Map

We know a true Mario fan when we see one. They hum the Super Mario Bros. background music on repeat, daydream about collecting gold coins and 1-UP mushrooms, and want nothing more than to traverse the Mushroom Kingdom with Luigi, Toad, and Yoshi to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. To celebrate our favorite mustachioed plumber-turned-racer on his special day—MAR10 Day—we’ve collaborated with the team at Nintendo to let Mario accompany you on all of your driving adventures on Google Maps this week.

To get started, you’ll need to first update your app from Google Play or the App Store. Next,  simply click on the yellow “?” icon found on the bottom right of your Google Maps app on Android or iOS. You’ll then see a prompt to enable Mario Time!

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Once enabled, you’ll see that the navigation arrow has morphed into—who else?—Mario. He’ll be a constant companion wherever you’re driving this week—to work, to school, or the spaghetti house. Just remember to practice safe driving on the road—we don’t encourage throwing bananas or red shells at other drivers in real life!

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Ready to take a drive with Mario? He’ll start rolling out on Maps globally today, and will join you on your road trips for a week. Take a screenshot of your route and share it with @GoogleMaps on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #MarioMaps. But remember, make sure to avoid sharing personal details like your home or work address (seriously, think before you post). Let's-a go!

“Pup View” from the home of Japan’s adorable Akita dogs

Akita dogs, which hail from the snowy mountainous region in the north of Japan, are big, fluffy, and incredibly loyal. What better way to start off the Year of the Dog than with a visit to the home of these lovable pooches in Ōdate city. Now, Street View can take you there in an instant.

Meet “Ako”, “Asuka” and “Puuko”, Ōdate city’s Street View dog helpers...

Meet “Ako”, “Asuka” and “Puuko”, Ōdate city’s Street View dog helpers...

Akita dogs are a big part of life in Ōdate city. So to give visitors a snapshot of the local area, residents called on the help of a hardy trio of Akita dogs—Ako, Asuka and Puuko—to give their unique perspective of a dog’s life in Akita. With a small camera attached to a dog-friendly harness on their backs, the dogs set out to collect their very ownStreet ViewPup-View of their home city. Here are some highlights:

There’s much more to sniff out in Ōdate, from hot springs, history, culture, and cuisine, so come on in and dig around the new imagery!

It’s Street View after all: Disney Parks come to Google Maps

We’re all about new fantastic points of view. Today Street View is going the distance, from California to Florida, to make Disney part of your world. Be our guest at 11 Disney Parks, and with Street View, anything your heart desires will come to you—castles, rides, attractions to infinity and beyond.

Now on iOS: one-tap access to real-time commute info and places around you

Whether we like it or not, sometimes life just flies by. And in the moment, every minute counts. Just one minute can be the difference between catching the last train or walking home in the rain. Or getting to that new restaurant in time to snag the last table. Last year we updated Google Maps for Android to provide access to helpful everyday info–in real time–at the bottom of the home screen. Now we’ve rolled out that same useful update to Google Maps for iOS as well.


Just swipe up and you’ll see three tabs–the explore tab, driving tab and transit tab–that will help you find a nearby restaurant, beat traffic, or catch the next bus. No matter what iOS device you’re using, Google Maps can get you where you’re going and help you explore the world around you.

Source: Google LatLong


Meet the couple that guides together


Local Guides come from all over the world, and they form a community of people who share their knowledge on Google Maps—everything from photos and reviews of local restaurants to accessibility information.

And for one long-distance couple, the Local Guides community helped bridge the miles between Malaysia and Bangladesh. Sumaiya Zafrin Chowdhury and Pavel Sawar got married in 2013 and became Local Guides in 2015. Nine months ago, Pavel moved to Malaysia to study information technology, and Sumaiya stayed in Bangladesh to pursue her career as an entrepreneur, community leader and social worker.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting this Local Guides love story. We spoke to Sumaiya and Pavel about how they enjoy the community together, and how Local Guides helps them stay connected while they’re apart.

Tell us where it all began: how did you meet?

Pavel: I first saw Sumaiya at a social work event in 2012…first look, fell in love. One day I went to visit a slum, and saw her there serving underprivileged people. I am fascinated by her work.

You’ve been apart for nine months. How do you make a long-distance relationship work?

Sumaiya: I went to Malaysia twice and we had great fun together. We discovered many places. We try to meet every three months. We manage our relationship through social media, especially via video call and chatting through Google Hangouts. We share songs and pictures also.

When you’re in the same place, what are your favorite things to do together?

Pavel:Sumaiya and I love to travel very much. As Local Guides, we also love to arrange meet-ups together and do social work and community activities.

So you connect over Local Guides together?

Sumaiya:Yes, we use Local Guides community and Maps to plan activities and date nights. Sometimes, we celebrate our special days through mapping. We plan to visit new places and compare our points. Mapping and meet-ups are our favorite part.

Pavel: Every day we discuss Local Guides. When Sumaiya arranges a meet-up, I try to help her. When I arrange one Sumaiya helps me lot. We discuss our contributions, photo views, quality reviews, etc. Local Guides helps us to spend more time together. Local Guides makes our relationship closer.

Why did you both decide to join Local Guides?

Pavel:Personally I love traveling, taking photos, and eating at different restaurants. As a traveler and explorer, I use Google Maps almost every day. I love to discover new places and I love to take photos. With Local Guides, I can help any other travelers also. I feel I am helping people in my community. Local Guides are like my family. It’s now part of my life.

Sumaiya: Pavel introduced me to Local Guides back in 2015. I joined in March 2015 because I love technology, traveling and photography. With Local Guides, I can do something positive for my society; that's why I was interested to join.

We recently did a post about seven kinds of Local Guides. Which ones do you identify with?

Pavel: The Visualist and the Trailblazer.

Sumaiya: I identify as a Fact Hunter because I want all to know real information about a place…and Trailblazer because I love to discover and add new places.

For those that are new to Local Guides, what advice do you have for someone just getting started?

Pavel: First, spend some quality time on Local Guides Connect. See how others in the community are doing. Arrange meet-ups. Please contribute on Local Guides to be a good citizen. Don’t focus on points.

Sumaiya:Upload proper pictures in proper places. Post useful and informative reviews that one can easily understand. Do meet-ups so that people can know about this community. And for the people of my own country, I want to advise them: please contribute more, add new places, and do your best reviews so that tourists can understand that our country is very beautiful.

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Sumaiya: Pavel is very punctual. This is the part of his character I like the most. He’s also a very trustworthy and hard-working person. He is very caring…he always supports me and appreciates my work.

Pavel: I can’t appreciate Sumaiya in a single sentence. Sumaiya is not only a good wife, she is also a good mentor for me. She gives support to me for my every good work. Without her I am nothing.

To discover a few beautiful (and unusual) places this Valentine's Day, check out these lists of romantic restaurants around the world, and film locations for famous love stories.

Source: Google LatLong