The official blog for Google Maps
Expanding Google Business Photos in Europe and Asia
May 29, 2013
Today we’re announcing the expansion of the Google Maps
Business Photos program
to seven new countries including:
The Business Photos program enables merchants to create 360-degree, interactive tours of their establishments. This imagery is published on Google so potential customers can look inside and explore businesses before they go.
Bohema restaurant in Szczecin, Poland
Are you a business owner?
If you are a business owner in any of these locations, joining the program is easy.
Simply hire a Trusted Photographer or Agency
in your area to take pictures of your business. Using Street View technology, the photographer will then create panoramic images from the photo shoot and upload them into Google. These images will be available automatically to anyone who searches for your business on Google.com, Google Maps, Google Maps for Mobile and on your Google+ page or Places for Business listing. If a local photographer isn’t yet available in your neighborhood,
let us know
and we’ll do our best to find a photographer for you.
Fat Cow Restaurant in Singapore
Photographers can also sign up...
And whether you’re a professional photographer or photography agency we’d love to have you on board! We are actively recruiting more Trusted Photographers and Agencies to help us bring imagery of local businesses online for millions across the globe to see. Please visit our website for
to learn more and sign up.
Posted by Deborah Schenker, Program Manager, Google Business Photos
Historic Images of New York on Google Maps
May 29, 2013
Today, Google is publishing new Street View imagery of three parts of New York that embody the spirit and strength of the city and its people: the 9/11 Memorial, Central Park and the neighborhoods struck by Hurricane Sandy. We’ve also collaborated with the nonprofit Historypin to create a shared collection of images and stories highlighting the impact of the Hurricane and the progression of recovery.
As a Staten Islander born and raised, this collection is especially meaningful to me. Imagery on a map can make it possible for people everywhere to explore and discover new places around the world. Images can also serve as an important record of the places we know best -- capturing our communities as they were, as they are and showing how they change over time.
Imagery of Hurricane Sandy
To create a space where the New York community can share memories from before, during, and after the storm, we partnered with Historypin on a community photo and video album called
Hurricane Sandy: Record, Remember, Rebuild
. In the album, you can discover and contribute old and new images of the places that mean the most to you.
For example, I found
of a house on Staten Island’s New Dorp Beach. “You can take our home but you can’t take our heart” is scrawled across its boarded up windows. That’s Staten Island for you -- we persevere and help each other up when we fall.
I hope you’ll be just as moved by Historypin’s growing collection of imagery. Take a look, and we hope you will take part in building this important archive that gives us all an opportunity to reflect, remember, and look to the future.
Sayer's Wharf, Newport RI, flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Shared by Newport Historical Society on
Tour the 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site is a moving tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks on New York City, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA. Panoramic images of the
pools allow you to see victims’ names engraved along the edges of the pools. If you aren’t able to visit lower Manhattan to pay your respects in person, let
be your guide to this important and moving memorial.
The 9/11 Memorial in
Explore Central Park
It’s hard to find a more beloved piece of the city than Central Park. In partnership with the
Central Park Conservancy
, our Street View crew went all around park collecting 360-degree imagery of its trails, paths, and plazas, to bring views of both
areas of the park to your browser or mobile phone.
As a lifelong New Yorker, I’ve seen the city change a lot over the years. This collection showcases some of what has changed -- but also what hasn’t: in spite of the challenges, New York City continues to be a symbol of the American dream, an inspiration to people around the globe and an ongoing source of pride for New Yorkers like me.
Posted by Susan Molinari, VP of Public Policy
Explore more with Mapping with Google
May 28, 2013
From your own backyard all the way to Mount Everest, Google Maps and Google Earth are here to help you explore the world. You can learn to harness the world’s most comprehensive and accurate mapping tools by registering for
Mapping with Google
Mapping with Google
is a self-paced, online course developed to help you better navigate the world around you by
improving your use of the
new Google Maps
, Maps Engine Lite, and Google Earth. All registrants will receive an invitation to preview the new Google Maps.
Through a combination of video and text lessons, activities, and projects, you’ll learn to do much more than look up directions or find your house from outer space. Tell a story of your favorite locations with rich 3D imagery, or plot sights to see on your upcoming trip and share with your travel buddies. During the course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from Google experts and collaborate with a worldwide community of participants, via Google+ Hangouts and a course forum.
Mapping with Google
will be offered from
June 10 - June 24
, and you can choose whether to explore the features of Google Maps, Google Earth, or both. In addition, you’ll have the option to complete a project, applying the skills you’ve learned to earn a certificate. Visit
to learn more and register today.
The world is a big place, we like to think that you can make it a bit more manageable and adventurous with Google’s mapping tools.
Posted by Tina Ornduff, Program Manager
Capturing the beauty and wonder of the Galapagos on Google Maps
May 23, 2013
Islands are some of the most biologically unique ecosystems in the world. Explorers and scientists alike have long studied and marveled at these islands—made famous by
. The Ecuadorean Government, local conservation groups and scientists are working to protect the Galapagos from threats posed by invasive species, climate change and other human impacts.
It’s critical that we share images with the world of this place in order to continue to study and preserve the islands’ unique biodiversity. Today we’re honored to announce, in partnership with
Charles Darwin Foundation
(CDF) and the
Galapagos National Parks Directorate
(GNPD), that we’ve collected panoramic imagery of the islands with the Street View Trekker. These stunning images will be available on Google Maps later this year so people around the world can experience this remote archipelago.
Daniel Orellana of Charles Darwin Foundation crossing a field of ferns to reach Minas de Azufre (naturally-occurring sulfur mines) on the top of Sierra Negra, an active volcano on Isabela Island. The Google Maps team traveled for more than 3 hours, hiking and on horseback, to reach this remote location.
Images, like the one you see above, are also an important visual record that the CDF and GNPD will use to study and protect the islands by showing the world how these delicate environments have changed over time.
Daniel Orellana of the Charles Darwin Foundation climbs out of a lava tunnel where he was collecting imagery. The dramatic lava landscapes found on Isabela island tell the story of the formation of the Galapagos Islands.
Our 10-day adventure in the Galapagos was full of hiking, boating and diving around the islands (in hot and humid conditions) to capture 360-degree images of the unique wildlife and geological features of the islands with the Trekker. We captured imagery from 10 locations that were hand-selected by CDF and GNPD. We walked past giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies, navigated through steep trails and lava fields, and picked our way down the crater of an active volcano called
A Galapagos giant tortoise crawls along the path near Googler Karin Tuxen-Bettman while she collects imagery with the Street View Trekker in Galapaguera, a tortoise breeding center, which is managed by the Galapagos National Park Service.
Life underwater in the Galapagos is just as diverse as life on land. We knew our map of the islands wouldn’t be comprehensive without exploring the ocean that surrounds them. So for the
we teamed up with the folks at the
Catlin Seaview Survey
to collect underwater panoramic imagery of areas being studied by CDF and GNPD. This imagery will be used by Catlin Seaview Survey to create a visual and scientific baseline record of the marine environment surrounding the islands, allowing for any future changes to be measured and evaluated by scientists around the world.
Christophe Bailhache navigates the SVII camera through a large group of Sea Lions at Champion Island in Galapagos. Image courtesy of the Catlin Seaview Survey.
We truly believe that in order to protect these Galapagos Islands, we must understand them. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” We hope this Street View imagery not only advances the important scientific research, but also inspires you to learn more about this special place. Stay tuned for updates on this collection—the first time we’ve captured imagery from both land and sea! We can’t wait to share this amazing imagery with you later this year.
Raleigh Seamster, Project Lead, Google Maps
Meet the new Google Maps: A map for every person and place
May 15, 2013
What if we told you that during your lifetime, Google could create millions of custom maps...each one just for you?
In the past, such a notion would have been unbelievable: a map was just a map, and you got the same one for New York City, whether you were searching for the Empire State Building or the coffee shop down the street. What if, instead, you had a map that’s unique to you, always adapting to the task you want to perform right this minute?
This is what you will have with the introduction of
the new Google Maps
– a mapping experience that helps you find places you never would have thought to search for.
The new Google Maps is full-screen and fully interactive
Every click draws a new map highlighting the things that matter most
Like a friend drawing you a map to her favorite restaurant, with only the roads and landmarks you need to get there, the new Google Maps instantly changes to highlight information that matters most.
And the more you interact with the map, the better it gets. When you set your Home and Work locations, star favorite places, write reviews and share with friends, Google Maps will build even more useful maps with recommendations for places you might enjoy.
The map is tailored to you and gets better with use
Easier to find the best local places
In addition to a customized map, we’ve also made it easier to uncover the best local gems. Search results are labeled directly on the map with brief place descriptions and icons that highlight business categories and other useful information – like restaurants that are recommended by your Google+ friends. Info cards provide helpful information such as business hours, and
ratings and reviews
so you can quickly decide where to eat, drink and play.
Search results appear labeled right on the map
Amazing imagery for exploring the world
Of course, no map would be complete without amazing images for exploring the world. The new carousel gathers all Google Maps imagery in one spot enabling you to fly through cities,
walk canyon trails
, and even
swim the oceans
. And on a
, like Google Chrome, the carousel is also where you'll find the Earth view which directly integrates the beautiful 3D experience from Google Earth into the new maps.
Earth view brings full 3D to the browser
There’s so much more to discover, including smarter directions and tours generated from user-submitted photos. It’s the biggest change we’ve made to Google Maps since we launched eight years ago. In case you didn’t catch all of that, here’s a quick tour
to build the perfect map will never be over, but we’re excited about the steps we’re taking towards building the next generation of maps. Please visit
to request an invite and we hope you have fun with the new Google Maps.
Bernhard Seefeld, Google Maps Product Management Director & Yatin Chawathe, Google Maps Engineering Director
A picture of Earth through time
May 9, 2013
(Cross posted on
Official Google Blog
Today, we're making it possible for you to go back in time and get a stunning historical perspective on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time. Working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and TIME, we're releasing more than a quarter-century of images of Earth taken from space, compiled for the first time into an interactive time-lapse experience. We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public.
Built from millions of satellite images and trillions of pixels, you can explore this global, zoomable time-lapse map as part of TIME's new
project. View stunning phenomena such as the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon and urban growth in Las Vegas from 1984 to 2012:
Feel free to share these GIFs!
More examples can be found on Google+
The images were collected as part of an ongoing joint mission between the USGS and NASA called
. Their satellites have been observing earth from space since the 1970s—with all of the images sent back to Earth and archived on USGS tape drives that look something like this
(courtesy of the USGS).
We started working with the USGS in 2009 to make this historic archive of earth imagery available online. Using
Google Earth Engine
technology, we sifted through 2,068,467 images—a total of 909 terabytes of data—to find the highest-quality pixels (e.g., those without clouds), for every year since 1984 and for every spot on Earth. We then compiled these into enormous planetary images, 1.78 terapixels each, one for each year.
As the final step, we worked with the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, recipients of a
Google Focused Research Award
, to convert these annual Earth images into a seamless, browsable HTML5 animation. Check it out on the Google’s
Much like the
iconic image of Earth from the Apollo 17 mission
—which had a profound effect on many of us—this time-lapse map is not only fascinating to explore, but we also hope it can inform the global community’s thinking about how we live on our planet and the policies that will guide us in the future. A special thanks to all our partners who helped us to make this happen.
Posted by Rebecca Moore, Engineering Manager, Google Earth Engine & Earth Outreach
Google Earth Engine
Bridging the gaps with Street View
May 3, 2013
Recently we sent our
Street View cars
driving through the historic seaport town of
(the modern name for Königsberg) in Russia as part of our quest to keep Google Maps comprehensive, accurate and useful. While there, we were reminded of a classic mathematical problem: the
Seven Bridges of Königsberg
The mathematical problem posed an interesting challenge: find a route through Kaliningrad—which was once separated by the Pregel River—by crossing each of the seven bridges in town. The catch? One could only cross each bridge exactly once.
This sketch shows the town’s original seven bridges in green (Source:
, one of the most prolific mathematicians of all time and our
recent Doodle subject
, concluded that there was no solution to the problem because it was impossible to find a route that would cross each bridge only once. This famous problem and Leonhard Euler’s non-resolution paved the way for important discoveries in the field of mathematics including
Fast forward 278 years to today where we still rely on Euler’s findings to calculate optimal driving routes for our Street View cars. We use sophisticated algorithms, based on graph theory, to determine the best route through a city or town—helping us capture all the images we need in the shortest amount of time. Though these algorithms are complex, in simple terms, it's equivalent to solving the problem of drawing a house without lifting your pen and never going over the same segment twice. Like this:
(Source: Vincent Furnon, Google Operations Research Team)
While the bridges of Königsberg may be one of Kaliningrad’s most famous landmarks, you can also explore other parts of this historic town with Street View—including the oldest building in the city, the
, which was built before 1288, and
, one of the city’s original six gates built during the 19th century.
Today, it’s traditional for newly married couples to hang engraved padlocks on one of the original seven bridges of Königsberg -
View Larger Map
In other words, leave the mathematics to the mathematicians and just enjoy the scenery with Street View!
Posted by Daniele Rizzetto, Operations Manager, Street View
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