• Mon. May 29th, 2023

Google Map’ Immersive View’ Live in additional 1000 Cities

ByPeter Oluka

Feb 9, 2023

Google Maps is getting more immersive and sustainable. The drone-like ‘Immersive View’ went live  in 1000 airports, train stations and shopping centers, TechEconomy can report.

Last year, the shared the vision for the future of Google Maps — an immersive, intuitive map that reimagines how you explore and navigate, while helping you make more sustainable choices.

“Today (Wednesday) we’re demonstrating how AI is bringing this vision to life, with updates for immersive view and Live View, along with new features for electric vehicle (EV) drivers and people who walk, bike or ride public transit”, Chris Phillips, VP & General Manager, Geo at Google, said.

Immersive view: What is it all about?

Sometimes, before you travel, you hit the app to reserve a hotel room and you felt like ‘how possible is it for me to have a feel of the room: the ambiance, decors, etc., before booking’. Well, you may not need to worry more about this very soon as Immersive View by Google Maps offer an entirely new way to explore a place — letting you feel like you’re right there, even before you visit.

Using advances in AI and computer vision, immersive view fuses billions of Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of the world. And it layers helpful information on top like the weather, traffic, and how busy a place is.

“Say you’re planning a visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. You can virtually soar over the building and see where things like the entrances are. With the time slider, you can see what the area looks like at different times of day and what the weather will be like. You can also spot where it tends to be most crowded so you can have all the information you need to decide where and when to go. If you’re hungry, glide down to the street level to explore nearby restaurants — and even take a look inside to quickly understand the vibe of a spot before you book your reservation”, Phillips explained.

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“To create these true-to-life scenes, we use neural radiance fields (NeRF), an advanced AI technique, transforms ordinary pictures into 3D representations. With NeRF, we can accurately recreate the full context of a place including its lighting, the texture of materials and what’s in the background. All of this allows you to see if a bar’s moody lighting is the right vibe for a date night or if the views at a cafe make it the ideal spot for lunch with friends.

“Immersive view starts rolling out today in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. And in the coming months, it’ll launch in even more cities, including in Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence and Venice”.

Google Maps Immersive Views 1
Immersive view starts rolling out today in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo (Source: Google)

Explore and navigate your environment with AR — indoors and out

“Search with Live View uses AI and augmented reality to help you find things around you — like ATMs, restaurants, parks and transit stations — just by lifting your phone while you’re on the street. You can see helpful information, like when a place is open, if it’s busy right now, and how highly it’s rated – so you can make an informed decision and maximize your time. We recently launched search with Live View in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo. In the coming months, we’ll start expanding this feature to Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid”.

Immersive view starts rolling out today in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo
Search with Live View will expand to Barcelona, Dublin, and Madrid in the coming months

“Augmented reality can be especially helpful when navigating tricky places, like an unfamiliar airport. In 2021, we introduced indoor Live View in the U.S., Zurich and Tokyo to help with just that. It uses AR-powered arrows to point you in the right direction so you can quickly find the closest restrooms, lounges, taxi stands, car rentals and more with confidence.

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“Now, we’re embarking on the largest expansion of indoor Live View to date, bringing it to more than 1,000 new airports, train stations, and malls in Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Paris, Prague, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and Taipei in the coming months.

Make driving an EV easy

“We’re also seeing more drivers and auto companies move toward electric vehicles. As a result, we’re introducing new Maps features for EV drivers with vehicles that have Google built-in.

  • 🗺Adding charging stops to shorter trips:On any trip that’ll require a charging stop, Maps will suggest the best stop based on factors like current traffic, your charge level and expected energy consumption. Now you can worry less about remembering to charge, no matter where you’re headed. And if you don’t want to visit that particular station, you can easily swap it with another one with just a few taps.
  • ⚡ Very fast charging stations: The ‘very fast’ charging filter will help you easily find stations that have chargers of 150 kilowatts or higher. For many cars, this can give you enough power to fill up and get back on the road in less than 40 minutes.
  • 🔌Charging stations in search results: We’ll also show you in search results when places like a supermarket have charging stations on-site. So if you’re on your way to pick up groceries, you can more easily choose a store that also lets you charge your car there.
Get EV charging stops for shorter trips
Get EV charging stops for shorter trips (Source: Google)

“No matter what mode of transportation you’re taking — whether you’re walking, biking or taking public transit — we’re making it even easier for you to get around.

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“With glanceable directions, you can track your journey right from your route overview or lock screen. You’ll see updated ETAs and where to make your next turn — information that was previously only visible by unlocking your phone, opening the app and using comprehensive navigation mode. And if you decide to take another path, we’ll update your trip automatically. These glanceable directions start rolling out globally on Android and iOS in the coming months, and will also be compatible with Live Activities on iOS 16.1.

Google Maps Immersive
Track your journey right from your route overview with glanceable directions

“These are just a few ways that AI is helping us reimagine the future of Google Maps — making it more immersive and sustainable for people around the world”.

When will Immersive View be available in Africa?

Google Maps is very much aware that we need technologies like the Immersive View. So, the roll out has started with 1000 locations in some select countries listed above. The company has also considered rolling out in Africa and other continent, because the team keeps taking review while improving on the AI as they continue to roll out.

Therefore, it is our view that Google Maps Immersive View would have become a robust technology by the time it is rolled out in the African region.



Peter Oluka

Peter Oluka is the Editor, TechEconomy. Email: Peter.Oluka@TechEconomy.NG

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