My Google Map Blog

Archive for May 26th, 2021

Plan and find your way in stations with new, accessible Maps tools

by Ramesh Nagarajan on May.26, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Train stations are often busy, bustling places. Whether you’re reaching your final stop or catching a connection, finding your way through a complex or crowded station can be daunting. And for people traveling with wheelchairs, luggage, prams or crutches, there are even more factors to juggle.

In 2018, we brought wheelchair accessible routes to Sydney and other cities around the world. To build on this, we’ve been working with Transport for NSW to help people map out each stage of the journey inside the station. 

To help people map out their journeys ahead of time, we’re launching indoor Street View imagery for 130 train stations and a dozen metro stations in Sydney. Starting today, you’ll be able to virtually navigate interactive, panoramic imagery inside Sydney stations, so you’ll know your way when you get there. You can also enjoy the rich history and beauty of many stations, from heritage listed St James Station, to the stunning views of Circular Quay and Milsons Point – and the thriving hub of Parramatta


For the first time in Australia, we’re also bringing detailed navigation directions for accessible routes across 70 complex train and metro stations across Sydney to Google Maps. These tools allow people to find the best and most accessible entrances, exits, signage and paths within the station and better anticipate in-transit travel times along these pathways.

A GIF showing accessible navigation directions for a Sydney route on Google Maps in desktop view

Accessible navigation directions on Google Maps on desktop

And as a world first, we’re sharing these navigation directions with Transport for NSW so it can be published to the NSW government’s Open Data Portal. This will allow the transport industry and app developers to access this valuable information and find more solutions to enable accessible transit travel in the future.

To find these accessible navigation directions for your route on desktop or mobile, type your destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions”, then select the public transport icon and any route options (such as “wheelchair accessible”, “fewer transfers” and “less walking”).  After you tap your chosen route, the detailed navigation instructions will be displayed if your route takes you through a complex station in Sydney.   

Screengrab of a mobile view of accessible in-station directions in Sydney

 Accessible in-station directions in mobile view

Whether you are planning or navigating your commute, we hope these tools make Sydney stations feel a little more familiar – and help you commute with more confidence.


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Street by street: How we’re mapping air quality in Europe

by Karin Tuxen-Bettman on May.26, 2021, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Since 2015, dozens of Street View cars outfitted with pollution sensors have been cruising the roads to track air quality in cities all over the world — from Oakland to Sydney. Over the past six years, these cars have collected more than 100 million street-by-street air quality measurements, all for Project Air View — our effort to bring detailed air quality maps to scientists, policymakers and everyday people. These hyperlocal air quality measurements are helping governments and communities make more informed choices about changes that can help city residents breathe cleaner air.


In celebration of EU Green Week next week,we are sharing a new air quality map for Copenhagen and recently started working with the City of Dublin to collect air quality measurements with Aclima technology in our first-ever, all-electric Street View car. This is all part of Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), our free tool that provides thousands of cities with actionable data and insights to reduce their emissions.


Capturing air quality in Copenhagen

In 2018, we started mapping hyperlocal air quality in Copenhagen, working closely with the City of Copenhagen and Utrecht University, in collaboration with Aarhus University. The map — which is already being put to use —  includes measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), black carbon, and ultrafine particles. Through mapping street-by-street air quality we found that Copenhagen’s major access roads have nearly three times more ultrafine particles and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and five times higher black carbon levels when compared to less trafficked residential areas.
This air quality map shows the street-by-street average of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Utrecht University & Google, 2021.

This air quality map shows the street-by-street average of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Utrecht University & Google, 2021.

Armed with these air quality insights, the City of Copenhagen and urban planners are working to design future neighborhoods that include “Thrive Zones.” These zones aim to build places, like schools and playgrounds, away from high-pollution zones to provide young children with access to cleaner air. The city also plans to use the air quality data to encourage more sustainable transportation and create healthier bicycle and walking routes away from car traffic.


An all-electric Street View car hits the road in Dublin

We’ve also partnered with the City of Dublin to gather hyperlocal air quality measurements in Ireland’s capital, where our first all-electric Street View vehicle, a Jaguar I-PACE, has hit the roads. This is the first time an all-electric Google Street View car is being used to capture air pollution and greenhouse gas measurements and Google Street View imagery — a feat made possible due to Jaguar Land Rover engineers integrating Google's Street View technology and specialized Aclima sensors into the vehicle.

Our Jaguar I-PACE is able to measure nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric oxide (NO), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3). Aclima’s platform analyzes and quality assures pollution measurements to develop these maps.


The road ahead

Project Air View’s air quality insights will be integrated into the European Commission-funded  European Expanse project, which is exploring how pollution is impacting the health of Europeans and how hyperlocal air quality measurement efforts can inform policy development.


We also plan to equip more Street View cars with air quality mapping capabilities so that we can continue sharing hyperlocal air quality insights. By mapping air quality in more cities, we can equip people with the information they need to create more sustainable cities that protect the health of everyone.


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