Google Maps has become one of the most dominant forces in the mapping industry. Google Maps features an online map and routing service with information on points of interest. This online mapping service includes street maps, satellite imagery, 360° panoramic views, traditional and hybrid maps.
No matter where you live in the world, you can use Google Maps to find out how to get from one place to another. You can quickly locate a local business, like gas stations, restaurants, hotels, parks, or coffee shops. Search for a location, and Google will return a map with driving directions, a tap-to-place feature, and a list of related businesses.
Did you know about Google Maps?
Google Maps began as a desktop program designed by the Lars Rasmussen brothers. It initially launched to the public as a web-based application in early 2005 after being acquired by Google. Today, it’s made up of one hundred million hours of human contribution to the physical landscape across two hundred countries worldwide.
Google Maps’ satellite view is a “top-down” or bird’s-eye view; Most of the high-resolution imagery of cities is aerial photography taken from aircraft flying at 800 to 1,500 feet (240 to 460 m), while most other imagery is from satellites. Google Maps previously used a variant of the Mercator projection, which could not accurately show areas around the poles. Google’s 2018 update made it possible to view terrain, forests, and urban areas in detail using street-level images.
Bird’s Eye View
Google Maps now features 45° imagery for many countries like the United States, Canada, and more. This allows you to see the world from a vertical angle instead of the typical horizontal angle. This enables you to see buildings in a 3D view and see how they look in reality. Open the Google Maps app to view this new imagery, then turn on “Terrain” under settings. Bird’s Eye View is an immersive computer-generated 3D map that changes as you move your mouse or drag the screen with your finger.
Street View is a collection of 360°, panoramic photos of cities taken by car or on foot. Using Street View, you can explore places all over the world like you’re really there. You can see your favorite landmark, go right up to it and even look in the window of your favorite shop. Just zoom out to see the bigger picture or select another place to explore in Street View when you’re done exploring.
Google Maps is one of many map services that provide GPS navigation with parking assistance features.
The mapping giant
Released into Android and iOS app stores in September 2008, the integration of more detailed real-time information has made Google Maps a household name. With a reported 2 billion users on Android, Google Maps captures the largest share. The app expanded beyond mere cartography to provide restaurant reviews, news articles, and more.
What makes Google maps so popular? The usage data of over 54% of global smartphone owners.