At I/O in May, Google announced a 3D immersive view for Maps that would let you see the world in a whole new way. As a first step toward it, the company is rolling out “photorealistic aerial views” of popular landmarks around the world. The new feature gives you an overhead view of almost 100 famous landmarks including the Empire State Building in New York City, Big Ben in London, Alcatraz in San Francisco, and the Skytree in Tokyo.
These aerial views are a rich, digital 3D model created with a meld of AI and billions of images, including Street View and satellite images. You can see them by simply heading to the Photos section of a landmark’s listing on Google Maps. If available, you will get to see the landmark and surroundings in great detail from every angle. You can get an idea of what these views look like in the GIF below.
Google plans to expand this to the whole Maps experience with the aforementioned immersive view. It will not only offer an aerial view of popular places but let you get indoor experiences as well. You will also be able to see the real-time traffic and weather condition layered on top of the map. This immersive view will further let you look inside restaurants and other public places from the comfort of your home to check out the vibe before physically heading out there. Google says it will help you make informed decisions before going out.
Google Maps adds cycling route information and location-sharing notifications
In addition to the aerial views, Google has also announced a couple more new features for Maps. The company will now provide more detailed route information if you’re cycling. When looking up cycling directions, you will get a breakdown of the route that tells you whether you will be cycling on a major road or a local street. You will also get information about heavy car traffic, stairs, or steep hills on the way. This feature will be available in hundreds of cities where Google Maps offers cycling directions.
If you use Maps’ location sharing feature, there’s a handy new addition for you. You can now get notifications when someone who is sharing their location with you reaches their destination. You will also get notified when they leave a place.
“One of the ways I plan to use this feature this summer is when I set out on my solo hiking trip. Asking my sister to set a notification for me so she can see when I’ve returned to the trailhead parking lot gives me peace of mind that someone will know that I made it back safely,” said Amanda Leicht Moore, Director of Product, Google Maps, in a blog post.
Aerial views and location-sharing notifications are rolling out globally on Google Maps for Android, iOS, and desktop. Detailed cycling route information will arrive in the coming weeks.