Google Maps Live View upgrade shows users AR directions for directions WITHIN shopping malls, airports and stations
Google Maps is no longer an outdoor navigation system – the tech giant is rolling out an upgrade that offers directions within various facilities.
Users can now use Live View on smartphones to maneuver through shopping centers, airports and train stations.
The Indoor Live View feature uses AR signals to provide step-by-step directions on a live recording of the area.
The 2021 upgrade also includes a new weather layer that shows current and forecast forecasts, along with eco-friendly routes, as many countries strive for a zero-carbon world.
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Google Maps is no longer an outdoor navigation system – the tech giant is rolling out an upgrade that offers directions within various facilities. It also added the option for eco-friendly routes (right)
Google Maps made its way to the iPhone and Android smartphones in 2019, but the latest announcement marks the first time it has included directions for interior spaces.
Dane Glasgow, VP of product, said in a blog post: “Since then, we’ve been pushing the boundaries of what a map can do, powered by the latest machine learning.
This year, we’re on track to make more than 100 AI-driven improvements to Google Maps, so you can get the most accurate, up-to-date information about the world, exactly when you need it.
“Here’s a snapshot of how we’re using AI to make Maps work better for you, with some updates coming this year.”
The new weather layer aims to help users plan for rain, snow, sunshine, or whatever conditions Mother Nature has planned. You can quickly see the current and forecast temperature and weather conditions in an area
While the update is packed with some new features, arguably the most exciting is the indoor Live View.
Users can access it in Google Maps, just allow their camera to capture the space around them, which is then covered with AR directions to follow.
“If you’re catching a plane or train, Live View can help you find the closest elevator and escalators, your gate, platform, baggage claim, check-in desks, ticket offices, restrooms, ATMs and more,” says Glasgow.
Arrows and accompanying directions show you the right way. And if you need to pick up something from the mall, use Live View to see which floor a store is on and how to get there, so you can hop on and off in an instant. ‘
The Indoor Live View feature is now available on Android and iOS at a number of shopping centers in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.
Google has gathered insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab to build a new routing model
It will be rolled out in select airports, shopping centers and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich in the coming months, with more cities to come.
The new weather layer aims to help users plan for rain, snow, sunshine, or whatever conditions Mother Nature has planned.
‘You can quickly see the current and forecast temperature and weather conditions in an area, so you never end up in the rain without an umbrella,’ wrote Glasgow.
And the new air quality layer shows how healthy (or unhealthy) the air is – information that is especially useful if you have an allergy or are in a smoggy or fire-prone area.
“The weather layer will be available worldwide and the air quality layer will be launched in Australia, India and the US, with more countries to come.”
The latest upgrade shows users optional routes that are considered environmentally friendly.
Google has gathered insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab to build a new route model that optimizes for lower fuel consumption based on factors such as road grade and traffic congestion.
“Before long, Google Maps will default to the route with the lowest carbon footprint if it has approximately the same expected arrival time as the fastest route,” said Glasgow.
In cases where the eco-friendly route could significantly increase your ETA, we let you compare the relative CO2 impact between routes so you can choose. Always want the fastest route?
That’s okay too – just adjust your preferences in Settings. Eco-friendly routes are launching in the US on Android and iOS later this year, with a global expansion on the way. ‘