Google appears to be preparing to add a “lighting” feature to Google maps.
The understanding is that this will make it easier for users to identify safer routes to travel.
It is currently not clear when the feature will go live or if it will become available everywhere.
Maps to be lit up
In principle, this is expected to make it easier for users to decide on a route that’s better lit than others. Or, by the same logic, avoid routes that are less lit or not lit at all.
Google has not announced this feature yet and so the specifics remain unknown. The current details on the new feature have come to light through a new report by XDA-Developers.
In that report, traces of code were found within version 10.31.0 of the beta version of the Google Maps app. These code mentions identify the feature and indicate some of the changes it will bring. For example, one of the strings specifically notes how “yellow lines” will be used to “show streets with good lighting.”
Another string describes the feature as the ability to “see how brightly lit the streets are" while yet another indicates the feature might include additional lighting information. For example, “zoom in more to see lighting data.”
Still unclear when the new Maps feature will go live
Considering Google has not announced or even publicly confirmed the feature, it remains to be seen when it will go live for users. That’s even if it definitely goes live.
What’s more, as the code is being seen in the beta version of the app, it would seem likely only beta app users will gain access to begin with.
Even when that happen remains an unknown right now as the current code mentions appear to be part of an early version of the feature.
Then there’s the issue of regional availability. For example, the report does speculate that there’s a likelihood the feature will go live outside the U.S. first.
While that is only speculation at the moment, if it is correct then it may result in an even longer wait before U.S. streets get lit up within Google Maps.
In the meantime, those who would like to opt in to become a beta tester for Google Maps can do so through this link.