Google’s new map features include Immersive View, Neighborhood Vibe and Search with Live View. (Source: Google)

Major AI Changes in Google Maps Enable Users to See More, Research Areas, See Them Live

Google Maps is doing a major upgrade to its digital platform.

Google teased the upcoming launches of new Maps features called Immersive View, Neighborhood Vibe, and Search with Live View.

The company says all of the features announced today are part of its efforts to build a visual-first Maps experience to help users navigate the world more naturally. Here are some of the features they are releasing in 5 major cities worldwide. If you are in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, or Tokyo you are in for an upgrade.

Immersive View

The upcoming Immersive View feature, which Google first announced at I/O in May, is designed to help you plan ahead and get a deeper understanding of a city before you visit it. Immersive view leverages a combination of computer vision and AI technology to fuse together Street View and aerial imagery with what the weather, traffic, and crowds will be like on a given day and time. The feature allows users to explore by visually soaring over an area to see what it may look like. Using predictive modeling, the Immersive view automatically learns historical trends to determine what an area will be like tomorrow, next week, or even next month.

Neighborhood Vibe

As for Neighborhood Vibe, the new feature is designed to give users the ability to instantly see the vibe of any neighborhood through photos and information from the Google Maps community. Neighborhood Vibe instantly shows you trendy places to highlight what’s interesting about a specific neighborhood. The new feature is launching globally in the coming months on Android and iOS.

Google also announced that it’s launching over 250 photorealistic aerial views of global landmarks today, which it says marks a step toward its goal to offer a more immersive map. Today’s expansion comes as Google added 100 aerial views of global landmarks to Maps in June.

Search with Live View

Google also announced that it’s bringing search functionality to Live View, the feature that overlays arrows and directions right on top of your view of the world. The new Search with Live View feature lets you use your camera to find essential places like shops, ATMs, and restaurants when you’re on the go. Say you’re in a place that you’re unfamiliar with and you want to find the nearest ATM, you can lift up your camera and search to instantly see the ATMs in the area. Pretty cool all the way around.

“You can just lift up your camera and see overlaid on the real world the ATM that’s nearby,” said Chris Phillips, the VP and GM of Geo at Google, during a briefing with reporters. “You can also see coffee shops, grocery stores and transit stations. You really get a sense of what an area is like at a glance. You can even see the business hours of a place that’s down the street. It’s an amazing way to bring it all together at once, it really simplifies the experience and gives you confidence when you’re trying to see what’s around you in that moment.”

Eco-friendly Routing

In addition, Google announced that developers will soon be given the option to enable Maps’ eco-friendly routing in their apps. Google Map’s eco-friendly routing lets drivers see and choose the most fuel-efficient route to their destinations. With this expansion, companies of all industries, such as delivery or ridesharing services, will have the option to enable eco-friendly routing in the apps, which measure fuel consumption savings.

We are all going to get a better “vibe” of what the world we walk in is like.