Google is in the process of updating its Maps mapping service, to make it richer and more detailed. So far, the US giant’s maps have been relatively poor topographically. Apart from the roads, which are given with great precision, there was only a little green to indicate the presence of a natural park or a forest, and blue to indicate the lakes and waterways. ‘water. By comparison, IGN maps are infinitely more precise.

But by processing satellite images with a new computer vision algorithm, the company is now able to identify more natural features and give them color. The new maps thus make it possible to distinguish the dense forests of a shrub area, to see the snow-capped mountain tops and arid deserts, to know where the beaches and ravines are, etc. It’s not yet the level of an IGN map, but it’s already much better. And above all, this gain in precision will be available in all 220 countries covered by Google Maps.

However, Google does not abandon the roads which, too, will be considerably detailed in urban areas. The aim is to show their shapes and width more precisely, and to indicate zebra crossings, sidewalks and pedestrian areas. “These details are particularly useful as more and more people choose to walk or take other forms of transportation solo due to the pandemic.”, Google points out in a blog post.

These details will be incorporated into maps for London, New York and San Francisco in the coming months. Other cities will be dealt with later. With a little luck, cyclists will soon be able to see the potholes on Google Maps…

Source : Google

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