Google Maps Expands Number of Building Footprints
Google adds 25 million building footprint images to its online maps to make them more relevant and helpful for users.Google Maps has added 25 million building footprint images to its huge collection of online maps to make it easier for users to "see" and identify buildings in order to locate exact locations for travelers, business users and others. "As we go about our daily travels, we often rely on buildings to orient ourselves, locate landmarks and navigate from place to place," wrote Bobby Parikh, engineering manager for Google Maps, in an Oct. 18 post on the Google Lat Long Blog. "So, today, we’re expanding the coverage of building footprints that are already available in Google Maps." The 25 million new building footprints are available to desktop and mobile users and cover many major metropolitan regions in the United States, including Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area, wrote Parikh. "These building footprints, complete with height detail, are algorithmically created by taking aerial imagery and using computer vision techniques to render the building shapes," wrote Parikh. "This process enables us to provide more building footprints and a more comprehensive and detailed map than ever before." As part of the new service, Google is also encouraging people to use their own familiarity with the building shapes that have been added to make needed improvements and refinements to the shapes by using the company's community mapping tool, Google Map Maker. "In addition to improving the shapes, you can also assign your favorite local business to an existing building or draw the building footprint for that business using Map Maker," wrote Parikh.