We have been using Google Maps as our daily driver for getting directions around us. But have you ever wondered how does google provide you with this accurate & up to date information? So in this article let’s understand how Google Maps Work.
Google Maps are found on every device be it laptop, smartphones or even smartwatches. It’s quite complex to integrate such features with the precision that Google has achieved. Many of us rely on the features of Google Maps on a regular basis.
Why Google came up with Maps?
Google, since it’s early days, has set up the aim of arranging the world’s information using it’s search engines and make it accessible for everyone. And, Google Maps is one of the biggest stepping stones for the vision. Maps was a big problem back then where you would have to look through those 2D maps that were printed in Atlas. So to solve this big problem was set on a mission to arrange all the geographical information on Google Maps
How Does Google Map Works
The primary functioning of Google Maps depends on data collection. So, let us see the sources from where Google collects data and how it uses them.
We all know that Google Maps’ essential thing is the geological map. To collect the data for it, the company depends on its Base Map Partner Program. Google collects information for its basic maps from various credible government institutions which provide Google with a basic map outline that has information regarding highways and roads.
Google Maps also has satellite view which is created through a collaboration with Google Earth. To get satellite imagery, the company takes the help of private companies and third-party organizations. The captured pictures are then referenced with the base map for correctness. Satellite images help Google Maps understand the topography and various other factors in detail.
Google’s Map Partners help them in the geological map, but documenting the roads is not enough. This is where Street View gets in the picture. The company has dispersed thousands of vehicles all around the globe, and they travel to every road that is accessible to capture the 360-degree images. The company uses the GPS coordinates of the cars to overlay the Street View images on the top of the base geological map.
Street View not only offers 360-degree images, but it has optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities too. This enables Google to read road signs, traffic signals and signs, and even business names. The collected data is used for navigational and directional purposes in maps. Google also uses it’s AI algorithms in understanding and collecting information.
Google also uses Helicopter Imaging where a Helicopter is attached with 3D Image Capturing Cameras for capturing information throughout a particular city or a region which helps it understand famous tourist places or monuments in 3D form.
Google makes good use of your smartphone’s location data. This helps the company in finding real-time traffic updates, traffic speeds, and road diversions. The collected data is then integrated into maps to make it more efficient and correct. Google also uses this data to show if a place is usually crowded at a particular time.
Google Map Maker
Google Map Maker is for the users of Google Maps. It allows the user to share his/her knowledge about a location. You can edit locations, new roads, and even add new places in Google Maps makers. This feature is incorporated in the Maps directly.
Besides all this Google also has an army of millions of Local Guides who update photos, videos, check facts, edit places & provide with useful information for Google Maps regularly.
Making Sense of all this Data
These layers of data, when processed, are what gives us access to all the information found on Google Maps. It is all thanks to the Google Algorithms that processes this complex information. If there’s something Google’s algorithms can’t make sense of, a team member will manually look it over and set things straight. All of this makes our Google Maps experience an incredible one.
Google keeps on adding new features to its maps platform every year and manages the platform to provide us with a seamless experience.