Google revealed the work its street view car and other devices have done to map the world.
At present, Google has captured more than 10 million miles of streetscape images, the distance equivalent to 400 times around the earth. Its aerial map service, Google Earth, currently has a total of 36 million square miles of satellite images for people to view. These images allow Google’s maps to cover 98% of the world’s population.
According to the technology website Cnet reported on the same day, this is the first time that Google has released relevant figures, so that people can better understand the breadth of Google Maps. At present, Google Maps has more than 1 billion monthly users and is one of Google ’s most popular products. It has also become an effective way for the search giant to place local ads.
Google co-founder Larry Page conceived the idea of Street View in early 2004, with the goal of creating a 360-degree world map covering all streets and alleys, landmarks and mountains. To get images, Google uses not only cars, but also hikers, or “trekkers” backpacks tied to camels and sheep.
“Images are at the core of all our work, and we see it as the foundation of the entire map making process,” said Ethan Russell, Google Maps Product Director.
In fact, in order to make better use of its image resource library, Google launched the Live View walking navigation function in February 2019. This tool uses augmented reality technology to overlay digital images on the real world screen. Up to perfect the walking route.
Live View aims to solve the “blue dot problem”, similar to the situation where people look at the blue dot on the map and hold their mobile phones in a circle to determine the direction after leaving the subway station. Live View can show the user an arrow on the street view through the phone camera and tell the user how to go. Because GPS on mobile phones is often not accurate enough, in order for this feature to work properly, Google matches “tens of billions” of Street View images with data on the phone to give users real-time walking guidance.