Google Maps adds 25M new building footprints
Google has added another layer of detail to its maps for desktop and mobile. Now, besides, streets, parks, and bodies of water, users can also see even more building footprints in major cities across the U.S.
The Web giant debuted this new addition today by adding 25 million new building footprints to its map platform. Cities include Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
"As we go about our daily travels, we often rely on buildings to orient ourselves, locate landmarks and navigate from place to place," Google Maps Engineering Manager Bobby Parikh wrote in a blog post today. "This expansion is part of our ongoing effort to provide you with maps that are as comprehensive as possible."
All of the building images also come with height information, which was created by aerial imagery combined with computer vision techniques in order to produce the building shapes. "This process enables us to provide more building footprints and a more comprehensive and detailed map than ever before," Parikh said.
"Apple has learned that maps are hard," Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said during an interview last week. He added that Google had spent over five years investing in its map app, while Apple has been in catch-up mode. "We invested hundred of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive-by work, and we think we have the best product in the industry."