O Henry The Roads We Take Essay

But if we had looked at this same area just a couple years ago, we wouldn’t have seen any buildings on Google’s map. So why was Google quietly adding all of this detail to a town it had never bothered to Street View?The buildings are a new thing, and I’ve been watching Google gradually add them over the past year: Again, this isn’t some big, bustling city, like San Francisco or New York or even Naperville. I started looking at other towns nearby, and Google had buildings in all of them too.In other words, we can’t tell that Hayes Street is a commercial corridor until we’re already so zoomed in, it’s the only thing in view. There’s no way to look at a map of a city and quickly spot the commercial corridors.

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” But the map isn’t always the territory, and the locations of these corridors aren’t immediately obvious on most online maps.

Up until last year, this was even true of Google Maps. Patricia’s Green (the park from “A Year of Google & Apple Maps”) actually sits along one of these commercial corridors in San Francisco, the Hayes Street corridor: Notice that it isn’t until z18—one of Google’s very last zooms—that we begin seeing businesses clustered along Hayes Street.

But not only did Google capture all of their commerical corridors (and several more), it somehow came up with them for thousands of cities across the world.

(Even my tiny hometown got a few.)How did Google scale this?

(Even my tiny hometown has a few.) And they’re not only relevant for residents, they’re also important to travelers: “Which areas have a lot of restaurants and shops within walking distance?

” “I just got off the freeway, where’s the business district?

Just two years after it started adding them, Google already had the majority of buildings in the U. And now after five years, it has my rural hometown—an area it still hasn’t Street View’d (after 10 years of Street View).

At the rate it’s going, how long until Google has every structure on Earth?

In other words, Google appears to be creating these orange buildings by matching its building and place datasets together: But what’s most interesting is that Google’s building and place data are themselves extracted from other Google Maps features.

As we saw earlier, Google’s buildings are created out of the imagery it gathers for its Satellite View: With “Areas of Interest”, Google has a feature that Apple doesn’t have.

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