24 August 2021
Google Maps is receiving a couple of new features aimed at helping users get access to information regardless of whether they are in a rural or urban area. These new features are Address Maker, Tree Canopy Insights, and the introduction of wildlife layer. Let's have a look at each of these features one by one.
Starting with Address Maker, it is an app meant to help people and businesses without an address. This is because of the fact that they happen to live in remote areas that do not have official names. The app makes use of Google's open-source tool called Plus Codes that assigns unique and functional codes to such areas.
The whole process of assigning addresses to an area traditionally used to take years but with the app, it can be done as quickly as in a few weeks. Address Maker allows organizations to easily assign addresses and add missing roads, all while making sure they work seamlessly in Google Maps and Maps APIs. It is currently available in The Gambia, Kenya, India, South Africa, and the U.S. but Google will add more partners in the future.
Next up, Google Maps is getting wildfire layer support which will be available around the world. It will offer updated information about fires, even if there are multiple breakouts. Google says it will help users make quick and well-informed decisions in time of an emergency. The users from the United States will get more extensive information thanks to data from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). The feature will get a global release on Android, iOS, and desktop starting next month.
Tree Canopy insights will be expanded to 100 cities around the world next year. It uses aerial imagery and advanced AI capabilities to identify places in a city that are at the greatest risk of experiencing rapidly rising temperatures. It will help local government in coming up with concrete climate action goals.