On a recent visit to Mountain View, I got a peek at how the Google Maps team assembles their maps and refines them with a combination of algorithms and meticulous manual labor—an effort they call Ground Truth. The project launched in 2008, but it was mostly kept under wraps until just a couple years ago. It continues to grow, now covering 51 countries, and algorithms are playing a bigger role in extracting information from satellite, aerial, and Street View imagery. — wired.com
Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution—twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm [...] The extra sharp images from Worldview-3 will greatly increase the maps' level of detail to the point where it can make out 10-inch objects, which means Google will soon be able to see “manholes and mailboxes” [...] — Motherboard
DigitalGlobe launched the first commercial satellite yesterday. Google, Microsoft, and several US government agencies are customers of DigitalGlobe. Such sharp images would be able to make out human faces, which, coupled with facial recognition software, could start to sound like a sci-fi...
In 2013, we picture cities a little differently, with demography and photography. Cities live in Instagram, in patterns of light from space, in blueprints and visualizations and—most like Canaletto’s civic landscapes—on Google Street View.
Now, an artist in London has done some creative, comparative history, pairing Canaletto’s Venice and London with contemporary depictions, as glimpsed by the Google van. — theatlantic.com
Google's Street View is slowly covering more and more of the world's surface, but it still has holes. Now though, you can help fill them—and all you need is an Android phone or DSLR.
Google has just launched a new Street View feature which allows any user to recreate the usual Street View experience by stringing together photo spheres along paths which they define. — Gizmodo
Google today launched an interactive map featuring Street Views of over 65 mass-transit hubs. The map features some locations you may have already explored, like Emirates' A380 or London's Gatwick Airport, alongside some new sites across Europe, South America, and Asia. — theverge.com
The latest update brings 25 million new building footprints to Google Maps, making Google’s map offering even more detailed and comprehensive.
The new building footprints have been created by a computer, which processed actual aerial imagery and rendered the shapes of buildings in the maps.
Users can help out and fix inaccurate building footprints in Google Map Maker, as well as assign businesses to existing buildings or even draw the entire building footprints themselves. — mashable.com
It's common when we discuss the future of maps to reference the Borgesian dream of a 1:1 map of the entire world. It seems like a ridiculous notion that we would need a complete representation of the world when we already have the world itself. But to take scholar Nathan Jurgenson's conception of augmented reality seriously, we would have to believe that every physical space is, in his words, "interpenetrated" with information. All physical spaces already are also informational spaces. — theatlantic.com
How much have books or film influenced your sense and recognition of place were you've never been before? And how about games, as developers push for more accurate and realistic map models? How will the ability to interface with all aspects of real-world data affect our future perception of space...
Wojcicki said the new campus — three adjacent buildings including Frank Gehry-designed Binoculars Building — would also help Google attract candidates from area colleges and universities... The company's focus on Web search is evoked by the iconic binocular sculpture at the site, created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. — latimes.com
Google is committed to providing our users with the richest, most up-to-date maps possible. [...] In this case, the edit for the 9/11 memorial site was made by a map maker user on Sept 12, 2011. — New York Observer
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