Google Maps will be more colorful this week: Google announces that it has now made the map display more detailed and precise. As is well known, Google has high-resolution satellite images, which they took as a model using color mapping algorithms and “painted” the appropriate areas in Google Maps true to scale.
In particular, dry, icy, wooded, and mountainous regions are tried to be demarcated and assigned to a variety of colors using the HSV color model – no, not black-white-blue. In this way, a densely overgrown forest, which appears dark green, can now be distinguished from areas with “spotty bushes” that would now be shown in light green on the map.
According to Google, this provides one of the “most comprehensive views” of natural features in comparison to other mapping services. Around 100 million square kilometers can be covered with the new view, which means that every little corner on the map is immersed in new colors.
You also have some first impressions that definitely speak for themselves (left the old illustration, right the new one):
The rich Icelandic landscape is now much easier to visualize. You can see the varying density of green spaces across the country and make it easier to see Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Iceland, which is now shown in white.
As you pan over Sedona, Arizona accurately mirrors its desert landscape and more clearly shows where Red Rock State Park is located.
Zoom out on Mt. Rainier National Park to see its mountain ridges, white snow cap, and vegetation that surrounds the area. The boundaries of the national park are more clearly defined by a darker shade of green.
Morocco’s green lights up so you can quickly get a glimpse of the vegetation that lines its coast and the northern part of the country.
With more precise visualization, areas can be roughly identified based on their characteristics. In the future, however, Google wants to go one step further and provide detailed information on road procurement: In addition to a true-to-scale representation of the shape and width of the road, it should also be possible to identify sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian islands.
It is hoped to offer added value, especially for people who are dependent on accessibility due to a wheelchair or pram. In the coming months, however, the detailed street maps will initially be in London, New York, and San Francisco, but in the future, there are plans to expand to other cities. Sounds super exciting in my opinion! The whole thing should look like this (left: before, right: after).
As mentioned at the beginning, the new color display should start this week, the more detailed maps for cities will follow in the coming months – although we cannot benefit from this in this country for the time being – except for a virtual world trip.