Tag Archives: Maps

Google Maps gets a new look

The world is an ever-evolving place. And as it changes, Google Maps changes with it. As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you’ll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your “Want to Go” list, Google Maps reflects that too. Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.

First, we’ve updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We’ve also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you’re looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots).

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We’ve created a cheat sheet of the new colors and icons to help you get acquainted with the new look:

You’ll see these changes over the next few weeks in all Google products that incorporate Google Maps, including the Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto. Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well. 

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So no matter how or where you’re using Google Maps, you’ll have the same consistent experience.

Source: Google LatLong


Google Maps gets a new look

The world is an ever-evolving place. And as it changes, Google Maps changes with it. As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you’ll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your “Want to Go” list, Google Maps reflects that too. Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.

First, we’ve updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We’ve also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you’re looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots).

1

We’ve created a cheat sheet of the new colors and icons to help you get acquainted with the new look:

You’ll see these changes over the next few weeks in all Google products that incorporate Google Maps, including the Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto. Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well. 

1

So no matter how or where you’re using Google Maps, you’ll have the same consistent experience.

Spend more time around the table (not in traffic) this Thanksgiving

Many Americans will spend next Thursday surrounded by family and friends around a table full of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce (or whatever your family favorites are). Because traveling for Thanksgiving can be stressful, we looked at historical Google Maps traffic data to identify the best and worst times for your Thanksgiving road trips. And just for fun, we took a peek at the places Google Maps users are most often getting directions to during the holiday week. To look at this a bit more closely, we’ve created an interactive experience where you can explore Thanksgiving trends in your area.


Tips for a traffic-free Turkey Day

Because many of us can’t or don’t take off extra days leading up to Thanksgiving, we looked at last year’s traffic trends the day before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after. As you might expect, Wednesday late afternoon is the busiest time to hit the road, but it’s pretty much smooth sailing the morning of Thanksgiving. So if you can wait until Turkey Day, you might be able to avoid the crowds on the road.


To make your travels as efficient as possible, don’t forget to share your trip with the in-laws so they’ll know exactly when you’ll arrive. And if you forgot the stuffing you promised to bring to the potluck, just search for an open supermarket along your route to quickly pick it up without adding a long detour—you can even see how much time you can expect to spend in the checkout line with our new wait times feature (now available on Google Maps for Android).


When the eating is all over and it’s time to head home, early morning on Saturday or Sunday are your best bets (just make sure to avoid the road when traffic heats up on Friday and Saturday in the late afternoon).

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.59.30 PM.png

Trending places over Thanksgiving  

Every family has their unique holiday traditions—like Dad’s dash to the tree lot the day after Thanksgiving. According to historical Google Maps search data, the most popular destinations over the Thanksgiving holiday period are ham shops, outlet malls, tree farms, natural features (think outdoor experiences), and electronics stores.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.59.09 PM.png

When you’re not digging into your food, dig into the Turkey Day traffic and Google Maps search trends for your city in our interactive experience. Happy Thanksgiving!

Spend more time around the table (not in traffic) this Thanksgiving

Many Americans will spend next Thursday surrounded by family and friends around a table full of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce (or whatever your family favorites are). Because traveling for Thanksgiving can be stressful, we looked at historical Google Maps traffic data to identify the best and worst times for your Thanksgiving road trips. And just for fun, we took a peek at the places Google Maps users are most often getting directions to during the holiday week. To look at this a bit more closely, we’ve created an interactive experience where you can explore Thanksgiving trends in your area.


Tips for a traffic-free Turkey Day

Because many of us can’t or don’t take off extra days leading up to Thanksgiving, we looked at last year’s traffic trends the day before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after. As you might expect, Wednesday late afternoon is the busiest time to hit the road, but it’s pretty much smooth sailing the morning of Thanksgiving. So if you can wait until Turkey Day, you might be able to avoid the crowds on the road.


To make your travels as efficient as possible, don’t forget to share your trip with the in-laws so they’ll know exactly when you’ll arrive. And if you forgot the stuffing you promised to bring to the potluck, just search for an open supermarket along your route to quickly pick it up without adding a long detour—you can even see how much time you can expect to spend in the checkout line with our new wait times feature (now available on Google Maps for Android).


When the eating is all over and it’s time to head home, early morning on Saturday or Sunday are your best bets (just make sure to avoid the road when traffic heats up on Friday and Saturday in the late afternoon).

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.59.30 PM.png

Trending places over Thanksgiving  

Every family has their unique holiday traditions—like Dad’s dash to the tree lot the day after Thanksgiving. According to historical Google Maps search data, the most popular destinations over the Thanksgiving holiday period are ham shops, outlet malls, tree farms, natural features (think outdoor experiences), and electronics stores.

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.59.09 PM.png

When you’re not digging into your food, dig into the Turkey Day traffic and Google Maps search trends for your city in our interactive experience. Happy Thanksgiving!

Source: Google LatLong


Getting hyper-local: Mapping street-level air quality across California

Most air pollution is measured at a city level, but air quality can change block by block, hour by hour and day to day. To better understand air quality on a more local level, we began working with our partner Aclima — to map air pollution across California using Google Street View cars—equipped with air quality sensors.  Earlier this year, we shared the the first results of this effort with pollution levels throughout the city of Oakland.

We're just beginning to understand what's possible with this hyper-local information and today, we’re starting to share some of our findings for the three California regions we’ve mapped: the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and California’s Central Valley (the Street View cars drove 100,000 miles, over the course of 4,000 hours to collect this data!) Scientists and air quality specialists can use this information to assist local organizations, governments, and regulators in identifying opportunities to achieve greater air quality improvements and solutions.

Over 195 nations will gather in Bonn for the COP23 UN Climate Climate Change conference this week. Rising to the climate challenge will involve a  mix of policy, technology and international cooperation and we believe that insights about air quality at the community level can help support both local and global action on climate. Below we’ve highlighted some of our findings for these regions. 

CA

Over a three month period, our Street View cars mapped air quality in different areas of Los Angeles, ranging from urban to residential, inland to the Pacific Ocean, and areas near major freeways, ports, or refineries. The measurements indicate that traffic-choked freeways, traffic on local streets, and weather patterns that blow pollution inland all influence the patterns of air pollution.

Air quality measurements in Los Angeles region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, IBCAO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data USGS, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC)

Air quality measurements in Los Angeles region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, IBCAO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data USGS, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC)

Compared to Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, which we mapped over the past two years, is a higher density city. A large percentage of air pollution emissions comes from vehicles like cars, trucks, and construction equipment, and industrial sources like refineries and power plants added to the mix. The measurements here indicate street-level pollution patterns are affected by these local and distributed sources.

Air quality measurements in the San Francisco Bay Area region (TerraMetrics, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data MBARI, Landsat / Copernicus)

Air quality measurements in the San Francisco Bay Area region (TerraMetrics, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data MBARI, Landsat / Copernicus)

While much of California’s Central Valley is rural with a lot of agriculture, it’s also home to cities, such as Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, and Modesto. Interstate 5 and Interstate 99 are two major traffic corridors that run through the region, connecting Northern and Southern California. Interstate and regional traffic, along with industry and agriculture, are sources of air pollution in the region. Weather conditions and topography can trap air pollution between the coast and the Sierra Nevada mountains resulting in a chronic ozone and particulate matter levels that exceed public health standards.

Air quality measurements in California’s Central Valley region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data MBARI, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data USGS)

Air quality measurements in California’s Central Valley region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data MBARI, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data USGS)

So far, we’ve measured over one billion air quality data points but this is just the beginning—and now air quality scientists can request access to the data. Air quality impacts our planet and our health—and we hope this information helps us build smarter more sustainable cities, reduce climate changing greenhouse gases and improve air quality for healthier living.

Tune in to Aclima’s blog for more data stories from our California driving campaign in the coming days and weeks.

Source: Google LatLong


Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps

When it comes to a saucy bowl of pasta or a perfectly cooked steak, people are willing to wait in (long) lines for a taste of their favorite comfort foods. Rolling out soon, wait times on Google Search (and coming soon to Maps) shows you the estimated wait at your favorite restaurants. Now you can decide whether that cronut is really worth an hour wait or plan ahead to get your fix at a time when you can avoid a wait entirely.

WaitTimesGIF

To see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins, just search for the restaurant on Google, open the business listing, and scroll down to the Popular Times section. There you’ll see the estimated wait time at that very moment. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you’ll see the estimated wait for that time period. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars–so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.


Wait time estimates are based on anonymized historical data, similar to how we compute the previously launched Popular Times and Visit Duration features.

Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps

When it comes to a saucy bowl of pasta or a perfectly cooked steak, people are willing to wait in (long) lines for a taste of their favorite comfort foods. Rolling out soon, wait times on Google Search (and coming soon to Maps) shows you the estimated wait at your favorite restaurants. Now you can decide whether that cronut is really worth an hour wait or plan ahead to get your fix at a time when you can avoid a wait entirely.

WaitTimesGIF

To see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins, just search for the restaurant on Google, open the business listing, and scroll down to the Popular Times section. There you’ll see the estimated wait time at that very moment. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you’ll see the estimated wait for that time period. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars–so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.


Wait time estimates are based on anonymized historical data, similar to how we compute the previously launched Popular Times and Visit Duration features.

Source: Search


Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps

When it comes to a saucy bowl of pasta or a perfectly cooked steak, people are willing to wait in (long) lines for a taste of their favorite comfort foods. Rolling out soon, wait times on Google Search (and coming soon to Maps) shows you the estimated wait at your favorite restaurants. Now you can decide whether that cronut is really worth an hour wait or plan ahead to get your fix at a time when you can avoid a wait entirely.

WaitTimesGIF

To see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins, just search for the restaurant on Google, open the business listing, and scroll down to the Popular Times section. There you’ll see the estimated wait time at that very moment. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you’ll see the estimated wait for that time period. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars–so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.


Wait time estimates are based on anonymized historical data, similar to how we compute the previously launched Popular Times and Visit Duration features.

Source: Google LatLong


Getting hyper-local: Mapping street-level air quality across California

Most air pollution is measured at a city level, but air quality can change block by block, hour by hour and day to day. To better understand air quality on a more local level, we began working with our partner Aclima — to map air pollution across California using Google Street View cars—equipped with air quality sensors.  Earlier this year, we shared the the first results of this effort with pollution levels throughout the city of Oakland.

We're just beginning to understand what's possible with this hyperlocal information and today, we’re releasing data for three additional California regions, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and California’s Central Valley (the Street View cars drove 100,000 miles, over the course of 4,000 hours to collect this data!). Scientists and air quality specialists can use this information to assist local organizations, governments, and regulators in identifying opportunities to achieve greater air quality improvements and solutions.

Over 195 nations will gather in Bonn for the COP23 UN Climate Climate Change conference this week. Rising to the climate challenge will involve a  mix of policy, technology and international cooperation and we believe that insights about air quality at the community level can help support both local and global action on climate. Below we’ve highlighted some of our findings for these regions. Below we’ve highlighted some of our findings for these regions.

Over a three month period, our Street View cars mapped air quality in different areas of Los Angeles, ranging from urban to residential, inland to the Pacific Ocean, and areas near major freeways, ports, or refineries. The measurements indicate that traffic-choked freeways, traffic on local streets, and weather patterns that blow pollution inland all influence the patterns of air pollution.

Air quality measurements in Los Angeles region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, IBCAO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data USGS, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC)

Air quality measurements in Los Angeles region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, IBCAO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data USGS, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC)

Compared to Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, which we mapped over the past two years, is a higher density city. A large percentage of air pollution emissions comes from vehicles like cars, trucks, and construction equipment, and industrial sources like refineries and power plants added to the mix. The measurements here indicate street-level pollution patterns are affected by these local and distributed sources.

Air quality measurements in the San Francisco Bay Area region (TerraMetrics, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data MBARI, Landsat / Copernicus)

Air quality measurements in the San Francisco Bay Area region (TerraMetrics, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data MBARI, Landsat / Copernicus)

While much of California’s Central Valley is rural with a lot of agriculture, it’s also home to cities, such as Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, and Modesto. Interstate 5 and Interstate 99 are two major traffic corridors that run through the region, connecting Northern and Southern California. Interstate and regional traffic, along with industry and agriculture, are sources of air pollution in the region. Weather conditions and topography can trap air pollution between the coast and the Sierra Nevada mountains resulting in a chronic ozone and particulate matter levels that exceed public health standards.

Air quality measurements in California’s Central Valley region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data MBARI, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data USGS)

Air quality measurements in California’s Central Valley region (Landsat / Copernicus, Data MBARI, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Data LDEO-Columbia, NSF, Data CSUMB SFML, CA OPC, Data USGS)

So far, we’ve measured over one billion air quality data points but this is just the beginning—and now air quality scientists can request access to the data. Air quality impacts our planet and our health—and we hope this information helps us build smarter more sustainable cities, reduce climate changing greenhouse gases and improve air quality for healthier living.

Tune in to Aclima’s blog for more data stories from our California driving campaign in the coming days and weeks.

Trick-or-treat for Street View Frights!

If you’re trick-or-treating on Halloween, you might see a ghost or two. But take this tour of haunted houses and spooky sites on Street View -- and the ghosts are no trick.


Our first stop is the Château Laurier, a 660,000-square-foot hotel that looms above the Ottawa River. Over the past 105 years, this architectural majesty has been graced by the likes of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. But these dignitaries are not the only ones to walk its halls over the years … the restless spirit of business tycoon Charles Melville Hays has been known to appear. He commissioned the Château Laurier, but died tragically aboard the Titanic just days before the hotel’s grand opening in 1912. It's believed his spirit returned shortly after, and on occasion has been spotted roaming inside and out.

Head over to The French Quarter in New Orleans where both the living and dead are having a blood curdling good time. The soft sounds of jazz and the faint smell of beignets waft through the streets, but the dark side of this city is as rich as its melodies and cuisine—around every corner there are ghosts and vampires to be seen. Venture into Hotel Monteleone, where there have been many spooky sightings. This haunted hotel has a restaurant door that opens almost every evening then closes again (even though it’s locked) and an elevator that stops on the wrong floor, leading down a hallway that grows chilly and reveals the ghostly images of children playing. Stay there if you dare—you won’t know when to expect the next surprise.

Now let’s head to the lush green paradise on Oman Island in the Philippines. Don’t let the beautiful landscape deceive you—this place has its fair share of spirits known to pester passers by. Local lore claims there are travelers who trek in circles, never finding their way out … and travelers have reported suddenly feeling weight on their backs, almost as if local ghosts are hunched on their shoulders.

If iconic horror films are your jam, head on over to Georgetown, Washington, D.C., where the Exorcist was filmed. In “The Exorcist,” the character Father Damien Karras fell to his death down  this flight of stairs (though they were padded with half an inch of rubber). The film crew had to construct a false front to the house from which Karras fell, since the actual house was set back slightly from the steps. When the filming took place, Georgetown University students charged people $5 each to watch the stunt from the school’s rooftops.

“Let the Right One In” is a Swedish film about a bullied 12-year-old boy who befriends a vampire child in Blackeberg, Stockholm, in the early 1980s. Check out the town square of Blackeberg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackeberg

, where Eli the vampire leaps down on Virginia from a tree.


That completes our tour, but beware of spooky things of which you may not be forewarned— for this is Halloween!