My Google Map Blog

Archive for June, 2021

Connecting people to food support in their community

by Emily Ma on Jun.29, 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

The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed exacerbated hunger for millions of people. Feeding America estimates that the number of those without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable food grew to 45 million people in 2020, including 15 million children. That equates to one in seven Americans and is a nearly 30% increase from 2019. 


Connecting people to community food services

We know people are looking for ways to get help, including on Google Search. Over the past year, searches for "food bank near me", "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)", "food stamps application" and "school lunch pick up" reached record highs. 

Starting today, you can find free food support all in one place on our new Find Food Support site. The site features a Google Maps locator tool to help you find the nearest food bank, food pantry or school lunch program pickup site in your community. We worked with No Kid Hungry, FoodFinder and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to capture 90,000 places with free food support across 50 states — with more locations to come.
A mobile device showing the new Find Food Support Google Maps locator tool where people can search for food banks, food pantries and school lunch pickup sites in their community.

Helping people know they aren’t alone

Food insecurity impacts people from all walks of life — especially since the start of the pandemic. Mass school closures made food insecurity five times worse for children who previously relied on free school lunch programs. Black and Latino communities, disabled Americans and those without a college degree have been disproportionately impacted. And according to a recent survey of military families from the Military Family Advisory Network, one in five families reported experiencing food insecurity.

Still, the stigma associated with getting help can be a barrier for many. We want people to know they’re not alone. Find Food Support features stigma-busting videos demonstrating that food insecurity impacts all kinds of people, and highlights volunteers and organizations from around the country who have stepped up to feed their communities.

The site also provides links to food support hotlines, state-by-state benefit guides, and information for specific communities, such as seniors, families and children, and military families. You can also find information about how you can donate food, time and money to support those in need.

There’s a long way to go to fully solving the hunger crisis in the U.S. and around the globe, but we hope Find Food Support helps connect people in the U.S. to free food and assistance in their time of need. 

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A safe space that’s made to measure

by Charles-Antoine de Leiris (he/him) on Jun.28, 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

Finding a safe and welcoming space to create a bespoke outfit can be really challenging, especially when you have your own vision for your wedding day or another special occasion. While traditional tailors are great, they can sometimes fall short for people who don’t want the usual three-piece suit or long trailing dress. 


But luckily, there’s Orhan Kaplan. 


Orhan London Tailoring is an East-London based business that has carved a niche through its bespoke LGBTQ+ tailoring service. Having founded the business with his wife, Denise, Orhan soon discovered a strong unmet demand within the LGBTQ+ community from people who wanted to choose something other than a standard wedding dress. Recognising the needs of the community has helped shape their product offering, and celebrating their customers’ individuality has made women’s suits and non-binary tailoring a key part of their business. 


As a tailoring and alterations business, being visible and accessible is fundamental for success. With their Business Profile on Google, casual shoppers who need simple alterations are able to find Orhan London Tailoring easily on Maps, while customers who need extended bookings for bespoke creations are able to swiftly organise appointments. 


However, for more specialised services, such as those for their LGBTQ+ customers, Orhan and his team recognised that an often overlooked community needed something else beyond simply being able to find the business online. They needed an indicator so that LGBTQ+ people would know it’s a safe and welcoming place. 

Becoming active allies

Communicating outwardly that Orhan London Tailoring is a safe space with dedicated service for the LGBTQ+ community has since become a top priority for the business. “We want people to know it’s a safe environment,” says Denise. “We want people to know that we can look after you, we understand your needs, and that we know the sort of things you’re going to ask for.''


Activating the “LGBTQ-friendly” attribute on their Business Profile has allowed Orhan to reassure the community that this is a welcoming environment. Sharing photos on their profile has also become an important part of this relationship, as potential customers are able to see other outfits the team have created for other members of the community. The positive reactions from customers, and a 75% increase in the number of women’s outfits ordered over the last three years, has been a testament to Orhan’s inclusive approach. 

An animation showing a Business Profile on Google Maps on a smartphone screen, showing the LGTBTQ-friendly attribute.

Connecting with the community, with help from Google

The LGBTQ-friendly feature gives businesses like Orhan London Tailoring a way to show potential customers they are inclusive and welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community – something which is more important than ever as businesses reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to Stonewall’s 2017 LGBT in Britain research, 1 in 7 LGBTQ+ people report experiencing discrimination because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity when in a shop or department store. With the LGBTQ-friendly attribute, along with other inclusive attributes such “transgender safespace” and “gender-neutral restroom,” businesses are able to visibly signal that they are a safe space to users on Google Search and Maps.


For Joseph Crouch, Marketing Manager at Orhan London tailoring, these small actions are powerful markers to those who are looking for them, and have encouraged more LGBTQ+ customers to come in-store: “It’s these little things that give our customers the confidence to come and make the step.”

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Any interest in new posts?

by Frank Taylor on Jun.24, 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

GEB logoI’ve been considering writing some new posts (just a few now and then) about what’s been going on with further development of Google Earth applications (for mobile, the web, desktop, and VR), and for the rich Google-developed dataset that continues to grow at an amazing pace.

Would there be any reader interest in that? If so, please leave comments below in this post if you would like new posts.

Also, on an administrative note, I’ve changed the blog over from Google’s Feedburner – which is being retired from active support. I’m using Follow.it as an RSS service because they offer the e-mail subscription in a way similar to Feedburner.

The post Any interest in new posts? appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Any interest in new posts?

by Google Earth Blog - Amazing things about Google Earth on Jun.24, 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

Story 445702548

GEB logoI’ve been considering writing some new posts (just a few now and then) about what’s been going on with further development of Google Earth applications (for mobile, the web, desktop, and VR), and for the rich Google-developed dataset that continues to grow at an amazing pace.

Would there be any reader interest in that? If so, please leave comments below in this post if you would like new posts.

Also, on an administrative note, I’ve changed the blog over from Google’s Feedburner – which is being retired from active support. I’m using Follow.it as an RSS service because they offer the e-mail subscription in a way similar to Feedburner.

The post Any interest in new posts? appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Now it’s easier to show what your business offers on Google

by David Rohan on Jun.17, 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

When people search for your business on Google, it’s important to show up-to-date information and the details that make your business stand out — like what services you offer and when you're open. That’s why we’re constantly building tools that make it easier for you to update how your business appears to potential customers on Google Search and Maps. 


Last year, we added ways for you to change basic business information, message your customers and see detailed insights. And now, as we head into International Small Business Week, we have even more ways for you to update your Business Profile — all directly from Search and Maps. You can add details, such as contact information and opening hours, and create Posts to share updates, like special offers or new offerings, right from Google Search. Starting next week, you’ll also be able to create Posts about upcoming events including when and where they’re happening — whether you’re throwing a reopening party or hosting an online tasting.
GIF of a Post being created from Google Search

You can now create Posts directly from Google Search

Here are the newest ways you can use Search or Maps to share information about your business on Google. To make these updates to your Business Profile, start by logging into the Google account associated with your business. From there you can type the name of your business or ‘my business’ into Google Search or tap your profile picture followed by ‘Your Business Profile’ on Google Maps.

Show customers the services you offer

If your business offers local services — such as construction, auto repair or hair styling — you can now use the ‘Edit profile’ menu on Search to easily update the services you offer and, if applicable, the local areas you service. For beauty and personal care businesses, show off your specialties like eyelash extensions, box braids, curly hair, balayage, dreadlocks or beard trims.

Image of a phone showing services offered by a plumber and electrician

 Easily show customers what services you offer from the menu in Search

For those who have a service or restaurant business and work with one of our Reserve with Google partners, you can now enable online bookings through your Business Profile — right from Google Search. Once you’ve signed up with a Reserve with Google partner, you’ll see how many bookings customers have made with your business directly on Google.

Accept takeout and delivery orders

Food ordering on Google has increased more than 230% since last year thanks to a boost in demand (who else is tired of doing dishes?) and new restaurant partners. To help handle the demand, Order with Google lets food businesses accept orders for takeout and delivery directly through their Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. This makes it easier for you to reach new customers and turn searches on Google into orders.


In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to add and update online ordering options directly from Google Search. Once enabled, you can indicate your ordering preferences for takeout and delivery to let customers know what works best for you. 


To help your restaurant stand out on Google, we’ve added easier ways to share your menu. You can now add menu items to your Business Profile on Search and Maps. Simply add and edit your entire menu or featured dishes via the ‘Edit profile’ menu on Search. These new entry points help food businesses update their info and interact with customers right from the apps they already use — Search and Maps.
Image of desktop screen and phone screen showing the latest merchant menu for food businesses

Accept food orders and update your menu to connect with customers on Google

Help customers find the products you sell

Shoppers are increasingly looking for products online before they head to the store. In fact, Google Searches for “who has” + “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over year. In addition to being able to manually add product information to your Business Profile via Search and Maps, eligible retailers in the U.S. can get all their in-store product inventory automatically added to their Business Profile by signing up for Pointy from Google right from Google Search.

Image of desktop screen and phone screen showing Pointy from Google

Help customers find the products you sell in-store with Pointy

Pointy removes the work of manually entering product details, which can be especially hard if you sell a lot of products. As you scan items being sold in your store, the products are automatically added to your Business Profile so that potential customers can see what’s currently in stock. Eligible retailers can now get Pointy for free through September 30.*

Keep an eye out for more

We want to help businesses stand out and reach new customers on Google. We’re continuing to find new ways that make it as easy as possible to update your Google presence. Later this summer, business owners who've started their onboarding journey but aren't yet verified will get a taste of this experience too and will be able to complete their verification journey on Search and Maps. Keep an eye out for more details in the coming months!  

*Pointy Box supplies are limited and shipping may be delayed. Offer excludes ads.


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New tools to support vaccine access and distribution

by Tomer Shekel on Jun.09, 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

Editor’s note: COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights is now available. Find the dashboard here

While over half of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, vaccine uptake is slowing across the country. Research shows a variety of factors are preventing people from getting vaccinated — from physical access issues, like transportation challenges and not being able to take time off work, to concerns about safety and side effects. 

To help public health officials and researchers in the U.S. reach people facing these challenges, we’re introducing new tools to better understand the vaccination needs of a community. This builds on our work of providing data, insights and tools to public health, epidemiologists, researchers and policymakers since the early days of the pandemic. 

Equitable access to vaccinations 

For some people getting vaccinated is as simple as walking a few blocks to their local pharmacy. For others, it may be much more difficult and involve a long drive or navigating public transit. If public health officials, researchers and healthcare providers can identify areas where vaccination sites are inaccessible or hard to reach, they may be able to implement measures like pop-up vaccine sites or transportation support like ride vouchers.  

Our COVID-19 Vaccination Access Dataset, which is available to the public today, calculates travel time to vaccination sites to identify areas where it may be difficult to reach a site whether someone is walking, driving or taking public transportation. We prepared this dataset using Google Maps Platform Directions API, the same API that powers navigation in Google Maps. This dataset does not contain any user data.

This dataset will help power a new Vaccine Equity Plannerdashboard from Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and  Boston Children’s Hospital, the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. This dashboard integrates our dataset with data from other organizations, such as the CDC’s social vulnerability index, to identify “vaccine deserts,” or areas where people have little or no convenient access to a vaccine site, to inform interventions such as pop-up clinics or new sites. 

Vaccine Equity Planner dashboard for New York and Mississippi

Vaccine Equity Planner dashboard for New York and Mississippi.   

Understanding vaccine information needs 

Public health organizations have been the go-to sources for authoritative information throughout the pandemic, and have provided educational campaigns about the safety, efficacy and availability of vaccines. We’ve heard from public health organizations and researchers that they want access to localized and timely data about what information their communities are seeking so they can tailor their communication to people not yet vaccinated. 

In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights tool to help public health officials and researchers explore vaccine-related concerns and the information needs of local communities. The tool will show trends representing the relative search interests across three search categories: all vaccine information, intent to get vaccinated (such as eligibility, availability and sites), and safety and side effects. Insights will be provided at the county and zip code level and updated weekly.  

The trends are based on aggregate and anonymized Google Search data so that no user information is included. The process to anonymize the COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights is powered by differential privacy, a technique that adds noise to the data to provide privacy guarantees while preserving the overall quality of the data. The data can be compared across different regions and over time, without sharing the absolute number of queries in any given area. 

Both tools will initially be available in English and for the U.S. As we get more feedback from public health organizations, researchers, and the community at large, we’ll evaluate expanding these tools internationally.

With these insights, we hope that public health organizations and healthcare providers can more easily and effectively reach their communities. Google will continue to do its part by providing timely and accurate vaccine information and appointment availability to people in Search and supporting organizations focused on vaccine equity. 

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A marine biologist uses Maps to explore under the sea

by Alicia Cormie on Jun.08, 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

Just under the water lies one of the biggest mysteries of the Great Barrier Reef: blue holes. These underwater sinkholes give researchers a rare look at ocean life and how we can protect it. Until a few years ago, only two blue holes were documented in the entirety of the Great Barrier Reef — they are hard to find and even harder to get to. 

With the help of Google Maps, marine biologist Johnny Gaskell and a team of researchers are finding previously unknown blue holes. In 2017, after witnessing Cyclone Debbie destroy many of the reefs in its path, he set out to find more blue holes. Home to hundreds of species of coral and serving as a protective waters for larger marine life, these formations give scientists a view of history buried in undisturbed sediment layers and clues about  how to better protect coral reefs. 

Using Google Maps’ satellite view, Johnny followed the cyclone’s path to pinpoint areas along the reef that might have been spared from damage. That’s when he spotted perfect circles along the reef, indicating a potential blue hole. The formation he identified was south of the Whitsundays in the Hard Line Reefs, a difficult-to-reach area of the Great Barrier Reef that’s dangerous to navigate. Despite this, Johnny and a team of divers headed out into the unknown, unsure of what — if anything — awaited them.

There’s still so many spots out in the Great Barrier Reef that are unexplored. Johnny Gaskell
Marine Biologist

With the satellite view of Google Maps on their phones, they navigated their boats through narrow channels in unsurveyed waters until the blue dot on their map was directly over the blue hole. Johnny dove in and found healthy coral formations that have sat undisturbed, possibly for centuries. Along the edges were delicate birdsnest corals, vibrant giant clams and huge branching staghorn corals. In the stillness of the blue hole’s center, there were green sea turtles, giant trevally and sharks that all called the dark, cool water home. 

With the help of Google Maps, a discovery that would have taken years of underwater exploration on the seafloor is now allowing researchers to expand our understanding of the world’s largest ecosystem. Today, Johnny is still working to build a snapshot of coral reef conditions. Working with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Reef Census project, they are using geotagged images to give everyone — from scientists to students — a better idea of what’s going in depths of the water whether they dive in or not. 

In 2021 the Great Reef Census is expanding to reach more reefs, collect more data, and broaden its research goals. To join the efforts, sign up as a Citizen or contribute directly via the project’s fundraising page

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The complete Google guide to summer 2021

by Summer Ime on Jun.03, 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

The sun is shining, the days are getting longer and more and more U.S. cities are reopening — it’s official, summer 2021 is almost here. Right on time, vacation fever has hit: Google searches for “summer vacation” and “sunscreen” are seeing a major spike, and those are just a couple of the many interesting Google Trends we’ve been seeing. So we decided to collect some of this information to bring you Google’s Guide to Summer: You’ll find trending travel spots, must-eat-at restaurants and tips for finding the perfect summer gear. 

To find what places are turning into vacation destinations, we looked at places with the highest percentage growth in hotel searches, comparing April 2021 to April 2019. These 10 cities saw the biggest bump in interest: 

Infographic showing the top 10 trending vacation destinations.

If you’re planning a trip to one of these places, the next step is deciding where to eat while you’re there. Hidden Gem restaurants are verified restaurants on Google Maps with high ratings from fewer people — which could help you avoid crowds and get an amazing meal. Check out these Hidden Gems from each of the cities listed above: 

Infographic listing the top three hidden gem restaurants in each top tending vacation destination.

If you’re not ready to travel by plane, you’re not alone. Many people are looking into alternative transportation options or even local options, such as… 

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The complete Google guide to summer 2021

by Summer Ime on Jun.03, 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

The sun is shining, the days are getting longer and more and more U.S. cities are reopening — it’s official, summer 2021 is almost here. Right on time, vacation fever has hit: Google searches for “summer vacation” and “sunscreen” are seeing a major spike, and those are just a couple of the many interesting Google Trends we’ve been seeing. So we decided to collect some of this information to bring you Google’s Guide to Summer: You’ll find trending travel spots, must-eat-at restaurants and tips for finding the perfect summer gear. 

To find what places are turning into vacation destinations, we looked at places with the highest percentage growth in hotel searches, comparing April 2021 to April 2019. These 10 cities saw the biggest bump in interest: 

Infographic showing the top 10 trending vacation destinations.

If you’re planning a trip to one of these places, the next step is deciding where to eat while you’re there. Hidden Gem restaurants are verified restaurants on Google Maps with high ratings from fewer people — which could help you avoid crowds and get an amazing meal. Check out these Hidden Gems from each of the cities listed above: 

Infographic listing the top three hidden gem restaurants in each top tending vacation destination.

If you’re not ready to travel by plane, you’re not alone. Many people are looking into alternative transportation options or even local options, such as… 

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Wheelie interesting Maps trends for World Bicycle Day

by Ben Jose on Jun.02, 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

Over the past year, my cycling game went up a gear. Like many people, I increasingly found myself on two wheels — taking a spin to exercise, to explore and even to run the occasional errand. 


New data from Google Maps shows that people everywhere have been racking up mileage on their bikes. In celebration of World Bicycle Day, we’re sharing the latest two-wheeled trends and Maps tips so you can grab life by the handlebars — quite literally.


A fleeting trend or a new hobby?

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