How Google Maps Works?? - GoTechTalk

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

How Google Maps Works??


It used to be that looking something up on a map meant unfolding a huge piece of paper you kept in your glove box and driving past the turnoff to Des Moines in the time it took to find section a 53.

Fast forward a few years and now thanks to Google Maps you can zoom in so far on nearly any Street in the world and you're not bound to have a problem, but this unprecedented level of detail didn't happen overnight.

Google managed to get a foothold in the online mapping scene back in the mid-2000s when it acquired whereto technologies who had the idea to let people scroll around on a map without having to refresh a novel concept that helped set Google Maps apart early on, but they needed more than just a pretty interface, fortunately, Google is first and foremost a data company so they often start by working directly with national and local government offices to determine not only exactly where every road is but how lanes are spaced and allocated on freeways to give an accurate base experience, unfortunately oftentimes the government won't or isn't able to provide a completely accurate picture of how an area is laid out, oh you so this is where Google Street View comes in but there hold on isn't Street View just a way for users to virtually sightsee the answer as it turns out is no, Google also uses Street View internally in order to double-check and tweak its existing mapping data as the Street View car takes photos of its surroundings special AI can recognize any signs caught by the camera and send them to be analyzed by Google servers to determine not only Lane placement and traffic restrictions but among other things even the proper addresses of local businesses.

All of this information is then also used to prevent maps from giving you bad directions by say for example sending you the wrong way down a one-way street that would be bad, adding another layer to maps is Google's access to a huge amount of satellite data partly from its acquisition of satellite imaging service keyhole in 2004 and partly from government sources they use top-down views of street markers to further improve accuracy and they've even got to the point where they can use satellite imagery to extrapolate the shapes and footprints of buildings not only to give you 3d views in Google Earth which are super cool but also to enable you to see outlines of these buildings in the regular Maps view.

So by intelligently combining data from all of these sources maps can construct quite an accurate picture of any given patch of land pretty well but even Google can't completely automate things, yet they also use human employees in a project called Atlas to make necessary adjustments one of this team's common tasks is to investigate user error reports and tweak routes on the map layer that clearly don't match up with a recent satellite image or Street View capture and this kind of user reporting reflects how crowdsourcing is another major piston in Google Maps engine and I'm not just talking about the photos you see on business listings either, Google relies partially on volunteers to map areas it may have limited data on something that's especially important in less developed countries where it's harder for Google to send vehicles or get accurate mapping data from a government, of course, Google uses other tricks too to flesh out the experience.

once upon a time they license databases from the yellow pages to dramatically expand how many businesses maps would show but these days listings are pulled from other public sources and from business owners who are eager to take advantage of the visibility that Google Maps provides owners of large facilities have even submitted floor plans and granted Google permission to do site surveys to help you find your way around this is particularly useful for sports arenas shopping malls and airports and Google even works with a third party service that keeps track of gas prices by looking at credit card data and even getting direct data feeds from major gas station chains.

Finally, whether you realize you've signed up for it or not Google also uses location services and the GPS on your phone helps Google understand on top of where it is how to get there and how many square feet of patio space is available what times of day your favorite watering hole gets crowded and they don't show you but they probably know the demographic makeup of the clientele too.

So the real answer to how does Google Maps work is that Google simply has so many information gathering tentacles that if they were the star of a Japanese anime I probably wouldn't watch it at work.



Alright, guys, that's the end of the blog, thanks for reading the whole way through if you enjoyed this blog please share it with someone who would be interested and leave a comment, Thanks for reading guys.

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