Entries with tag google maps.

Google Maps Adds Elevation Information to Cycling Routes

Google has added elevation data to the cycling routes generated by its Maps application. The information had previously been factored into route calculations, according to Google, but the data itself was not easily available to users. Now, a user can see the information for routes on which the elevation changes. Typically, cyclists needing this data have had to rely on other applications. The information is available on desktop Google Maps versions in all countries for which the application provides cycling directions, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, and the US. (Digital Arts Online)(Digital Trends)(Tech Crunch)

Father Convinces Google to Remove Satellite Image of Son’s Murder Scene

Google will replace a Google Maps satellite image following a complaint by Jose Barrera that the scene, shot in 2009, clearly shows the body of his murdered teen-aged son surrounded by police. Barrera, of Richmond, California, told CNN he discovered the image of the crime scene last week. His 14-year-old son, Kevin Barrera, was shot and killed, and his body was found near a railroad track in Richmond in August 2009. The case remains unsolved. Because of the circumstances, Google Maps vice president Brian McClendon said, the company will replace the image in eight days, a process that typically takes one to three years. (CNN)(TIME)(Associated Press)

Google Seeking Adventurous Backpackers for Maps Expansion

Google Maps is going off-road and soliciting the assistance of intrepid hikers to record terrain for its Street View maps. The company created its camera-equipped Terrain backpack specifically to gather data on those areas inaccessible by paved roads. Google explained, “The Trekker is operated by an Android device and consists of 15 lenses angled in different directions so that the images can be stitched together into 360-degree panoramic views. As the operator walks, photos are taken roughly every 2.5 seconds. Our first collection using this camera technology was taken along the rough, rocky terrain of Arizona’s Grand Canyon.” The 42-pound backpack has also been used to map Japan’s Gunkanjima Island, a deserted island off the country’s west coast originally established for coal mining. Those interested in participating are asked to apply to use the backpack with a description of why they want to participate and whether they can obtain the permissions necessary to access the desired destinations. Google has previously used vehicles such as trolleys and snowmobiles to gather difficult-to-obtain images for Street View. (Ars Technica)(The Daily Mail)(NBC News)(Google)

Google Acquiring Waze in Billion-Dollar Deal

Google has announced it is acquiring mapping-application developer Waze for about $1.1 billion. The deal’s precise terms have not been released, which is why reports on the price tag differ, ranging as high as $1.3 billion. Analysts say the acquisition should help Google support its Google Maps service. Waze offers a mobile application that is continually improved by crowdsourced information and user tracking, such as traffic and road-hazard details. Waze, an Israel-based startup founded in 2008, has reportedly been in negotiations with various firms—including Apple and Facebook—for the past year. (Businessweek)(The Telegraph)(The Wall Street Journal)

Google Maps Adds Antarctic Images

Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Center and New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust have captured 360-degree panoramic views of several important locations in Antarctica and released them on 17 July on Google Maps Street View. The images, part of the Google World Wonders project, include the flag-festooned South Pole and the well-preserved, rarely visited remote huts of early 20th century explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Scott. “We wanted to show the legacy of these early explorers,” Polar Geospatial Center cartography director Brad Herried told Wired. The researchers also captured images of the South Pole Telescope and the Cape Royds Adelie Penguin Rookery. (PC World)(Wired)

Google Maps Smithsonian Museums

Visitors to the Smithsonian Institution can now use a smartphone to navigate the 17 of the organization’s educational facilities. Those facilities include the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the American History Museum. Google spent seven months creating maps of 2.7 million square feet of the Smithsonian interiors. Users can access this information via Google Maps for Android and also locate specific objects in the collection such as The Hope Diamond. Smithsonian officials are continuing to work with Google on the mapping project, aiming to add more exhibit detail and other features. (PhysOrg)(Associated Press)(Smithsonian Institution)

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