My Google Map Blog

Tag: Sustainability

Real-time bikeshare information in Google Maps rolls out to 24 cities

by Maps on Jul.17, 2019, 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

Bikesharing is booming as this two-wheeled technology transforms how people get from A to B in cities around the planet. With an estimated 1,600 bikeshare systems and more than 18 million shared bikes in urban centers worldwide, bikesharing has gone mainstream. And for good reason--it’s a convenient, affordable, fun and hassle-free way to get around. 


For the past year, travellers and commuters in New York City have been using Google Maps to both locate bikesharing stations and see exactly how many bikes are available at a station in real-time. Today, we’re rolling out this feature to a total of 24 cities in 16 countries.

Docked Bikeshare in Google Maps.jpg

Search for a bikeshare system in Google Maps to see available bikes nearby.


From New Taipei City to Toronto, you can now use Google Maps to locate bikeshare stations and pinpoint how many bikes are available near you. You can also find out whether there’s an empty space at a station near your destination for you to leave your bike. This is all made possible by incorporating a new global bike share data feed directly into Google Maps, thanks to a partnership with Ito World.


Whether you’re traveling in a new city or planning your daily commute, Google Maps is making it easier to weigh all your transportation options with real-time information. Just like how we show you when buses and trains are coming and going in Google Maps, you’ll now know which bikeshare stations have a bike ready for you. 


This bird’s eye view into bikesharing is now available in Google Maps on Android and iOS in the following cities globally with more on the way: Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Chicago, Dublin, Hamburg, Helsinki, Kaohsiung, London, Los Angeles, Lyon, Madrid, Mexico City, Montreal, New Taipei City, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco Bay Area, São Paulo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.

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Transit crowdedness trends from around the world, according to Google Maps

by Maps on Jun.28, 2019, 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

Crowdedness predictions come from optional feedback directly from the people who use Google Maps. In fact, you may have received notifications asking about how crowded your subway, train, or bus ride was after navigating in transit mode. To learn more about how crowdedness levels vary around the world, we analyzed aggregated and anonymized reports of crowdedness from Google Maps users from October 2018 to June 2019 during peak commuting hours (6am - 10am), and identified which lines had the highest number of crowdedness reports. Here’s what we found: 


ranked_crowded cities
  • When it comes to the most-crowded transit lines, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo dominate the rankings–each city has 3 lines in the top 10.

  • New York’s famed L train–which, until recently, was on the verge of closing for repair– is the only U.S. transit line to make it into the top 10.

Among many U.S. cities, the most-crowded public transit routes are buses. In Los Angeles, for example, bus routes 152, 105, and 704 are among the most-crowded.

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Working to map the air everywhere and help #BeatAirPollution

by Maps on Jun.05, 2019, 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

Whenever I go for a bike ride, I use Google Maps to find bike lanes and avoid busy streets. When I take my kids to the park, I check the weather forecast so I know what to expect. Imagine if we could also see maps of air quality in our neighborhoods, and route ourselves around the pollution for cleaner, healthier bike rides or park visits. What if every city in the world had “hyperlocal” air pollution information so that urban planners could pinpoint hotspots on maps and work to fix air quality problems?


This goal is a good one to reflect on today for World Environment Day. This year’s theme raises awareness for air pollution, encouraging people everywhere to take action to #BeatAirPollution. Doing so will require a lot of effort from businesses, utilities, governments, scientists and everyday citizens.


Project Air View is our commitment toward this goal: It’s Google’s effort to help map air pollution in every city in the world and give people and organizations accurate and reliable high-resolution maps of air quality. After our partners at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) first proposed the idea in 2012, we equipped Google Street View cars with air pollution sensors—starting with measuring greenhouse gas methane (with EDF), and expanding to measure particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and more (with Aclima and EDF).
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Street View cars equipped with Aclima air quality sensors

Today scientists are starting to merge street-level air quality data with contextual data like satellite imagery, weather data, and government monitoring station data. New satellite sensors, like TROPOMI on the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 5p, are delivering daily pictures of air pollution for the entire globe. You can find this air quality satellite data in Google Earth Engine, along with weather data, atmospheric data and a lot of other Earth observation data (30 petabytes worth!).

Env3

Animation showing nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in California and Nevada
for the time period August 27 to September 6, 2018.


Fusing this satellite data with ground-level air quality is made easier by putting environmental data in the cloud. Air quality data collected with Street View cars is served up to researchers via Google Cloud BigQuery, where they can query the tens of millions of records in a matter of seconds. You can also find government monitoring station data published by EPA and OpenAQ in BigQuery through the Google Cloud Public Datasets program.

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How Project Air View can help us understand more about ground-level air quality

Air quality is an important issue and can be difficult to map on hyperlocal level, which is why we’ve taken time to make sure we get it right. We’ve made a lot of progress. After launching air quality maps for Oakland, CA with Aclima and EDF, we expanded to other regions of the state. More recently, we have worked with our research partners to add other U.S. cities like Houston and Salt Lake City, as well as Copenhagen, London, and Amsterdam in Europe.


And today, we’re publishing a new batch of air quality data—the measurements we've made with Aclima between 2017 and 2018. Scientists can request access to the data via this form. This new mapping data supplements our previously released hyperlocal air quality data, which includes measurements in the San Francisco Bay Area and the northern San Joaquin Valley. The combined datasets now contain 140,000 miles and 7,000 hours of driving from 2016 through 2018. The data captures over three years of air quality moments and insights, big and small.


What’s next?

By the end of this year, we’ll equip 50 more Street View cars with the mobile-friendly Aclima Mobile Sensor Node, and hit the road in cities in Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America.We’ll continue using tools like BigQuery and platforms like the Air Quality Data Commons to share this data with researchers whose work helps policymakers, businesses, and utilities make better decisions around air quality in their cities.


In the future, we hope existing fleets of vehicles can be used in cities around the world for air quality measurement. We’re already seeing this happen. EDF and Houston’s Public Health Department worked together to equip a few vehicles in their city fleet with air sensors. EDF and the connected vehicle company, GeoTab, published a report showing how cities can determine if they can do the same. And recently, Aclima and Google Cloud have partnered to make this a reality in partnership with cities and counties across the U.S. and around the world, starting with the County of San Mateo and more than 100 municipalities with over 10 million people in California through next year.


Research like this can spread awareness about air pollution, drive new science, and help people take action. If cities around the world join in the effort to measure air pollution, it will be one giant step toward achieving the lofty goal to #BeatAirPollution.


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Get lost in the new Earth Timelapse, now on mobile

by Maps on Apr.25, 2019, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Today we’re introducing several updates to Google Earth Timelapse, a global, zoomable time-lapse video that lets anyone explore the last 35 years of our changing planet’s surface—from the global scale to the local scale. This update adds two additional years of imagery to the time-series visualization, now spanning from 1984 to 2018, along with mobile support and visual upgrades to make exploring more accessible and intuitive.

Desktop and Mobile

Timelapse provides a comprehensive picture of our changing Earth—including stunning phenomena like the sprouting of Dubai’s Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier and the impressive urban expansion of Las Vegas, Nevada (seen below).

Scientists, documentarians and journalists have used this dataset to help us better understand the complex dynamics at work on our planet. News outlets have brought their reporting to life with Timelapse imagery, from coverage of the floods in Houston, Texas to population monitoring. Recently, a team of scientists at the University of Ottawa published an article Nature based on the Timelapse dataset which revealed a 6,000 percent increase in landslides on a Canadian Arctic island since 1984. Starting this week, if you’re in the U.K., you can see Timelapse imagery featured in Earth From Space, a new BBC series about the incredible discoveries and perspectives captured from above. 

Zeit

Zeit Online uses Timelapse to show the extent to which jungles are cleared for soy production in Brazil.

Using Google Earth Engine, Google's cloud platform for petabyte-scale geospatial analysis, we combined more than 15 million satellite images (roughly 10 quadrillion pixels) to create the 35 global cloud-free images that make up Timelapse. These images come from the U.S. Geological Survey/NASA Landsat and European Sentinel programs. Once again, we joined forces with our friends at Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab, whose Time Machine video technology makes Timelapse interactively explorable.

Today's update also adds mobile and tablet support, making it a little easier for you to explore, research or get lost in the imagery—from wherever you are. Up until recently, mobile browsers disabled the ability to autoplay videos, which is critical for Timelapse (since it’s made up of tens of millions of multi-resolution, overlapping videos). Chrome and Firefox reinstated support for autoplay (with sound muted), so we’ve added mobile support with this latest update.

Timelapse Phone

Earth Timelapse, now available on phones and tablets, includes a handy new "Maps Mode" toggle to let you navigate the map using Google Maps.

The design of the new Timelapse interface leverages Material Design with simple, clean lines and clear focal areas, so you can easily navigate the immense dataset. We contributed this new user interface to the open-source Time Machine project, used by Carnegie Mellon and others. Read more about our design approach at Google Design.

We’re committed to creating products like Timelapse with the planet in mind, and hope that making this data easily accessible will ground debates, encourage discovery, and inform the global community’s thinking about how we live on our planet. Get started with Timelapse on the Earth Engine website, or take a mesmerizing tour of the world through YouTube.


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Finding a place to charge your EV is easy with Google Maps

by Maps on Apr.23, 2019, 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

If you’ve ever driven to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station only to find that all ports are occupied, you know that you could end up waiting in line for anywhere between minutes to hours—which can really put a damper on your day when you have places to go and things to do.


Starting today, you can see the real time availability of charging ports in the U.S. and U.K, right from Google Maps–so you can know if chargers are available before you head to a station. Simply search for “ev charging stations” to see up to date information from networks like Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect and soon, Chargepoint. You’ll then see how many ports are currently available, along with other helpful details, like the business where the station is located, port types and charging speeds. You’ll also see information about the station from other drivers, including photos, ratings, reviews and questions.
realtime

You can search for real time EV charging information on Google Maps on desktop, Android, iOS and on Google Maps for Android Auto. To get started, update your Google Maps app from the App Store or Play Store.


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Get charged up with Google Maps

by Maps on Oct.17, 2018, 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

We built Google Maps to help people get where they need to go no matter what mode of transportation they use. Our newest feature brings helpful information about electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the Map, so you can be confident that your car will be charged and ready for your ride, wherever you’re headed. Here’s how it works:

A quick search for keywords like “ev charging” or “EV charging stations" will display the nearest supported stations. To help you make a quick decision about which station to use, we’ll show you information about the business where the station is located, the types of ports available, charging speeds, and how many ports there are. You’ll also see information about the station from drivers, including photos, ratings, reviews and questions.

ev charging search

In addition, businesses that have charging stations will now feature a link to information about the chargers.


ev host

Google Maps now supports charging stations around the world, including:


Global: Tesla, Chargepoint

US:SemaConnect, EVgo, Blink

UK:Chargemaster, Pod Point

AU & NZ: Chargefox


The ability to search for electric vehicle charging stations starts rolling out today on Android and iOS, with desktop launching in the coming weeks. To get started on mobile, update your Google Maps app from the App Store or Play Store today.

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