Google Maps

Google Maps
Screenshot
Screenshot of Google Maps in a web browser
Type of site
Web mapping
Available in74 languages
List of languages
Afrikaans, Azerbaijani, Indonesian, Malay, Bosnian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, German (Germany), Estonian, English (United States), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Basque, Filipino, French (France), Galician, Croatian, Zulu, Icelandic, Italian, Swahili, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Uzbek, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Albanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Finnish, Swedish, Vietnamese, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Macedonian, Mongolian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, Hebrew, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Amharic, Nepali, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Sinhala, Thai, Lao, Burmese, Khmer, Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
OwnerGoogle
URLgoogle.com/maps Edit this at Wikidata
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional, included with a Google Account
LaunchedFebruary 8, 2005 (2005-02-08)
Current statusActive
Written inC++ (back-end), JavaScript, XML, Ajax (UI)

Google Maps is a web mapping platform and consumer application offered by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bike, air (in beta) and public transportation. As of 2020, Google Maps was being used by over one billion people every month around the world.[1]

Google Maps began as a C++ desktop program developed by brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen at Where 2 Technologies. In October 2004, the company was acquired by Google, which converted it into a web application. After additional acquisitions of a geospatial data visualization company and a real-time traffic analyzer, Google Maps was launched in February 2005.[2] The service's front end utilizes JavaScript, XML, and Ajax. Google Maps offers an API that allows maps to be embedded on third-party websites,[3] and offers a locator for businesses and other organizations in numerous countries around the world. Google Map Maker allowed users to collaboratively expand and update the service's mapping worldwide but was discontinued from March 2017. However, crowdsourced contributions to Google Maps were not discontinued as the company announced those features would be transferred to the Google Local Guides program.[4]

Google Maps' satellite view is a "top-down" or bird's-eye view; most of the high-resolution imagery of cities is aerial photography taken from aircraft flying at 800 to 1,500 feet (240 to 460 m), while most other imagery is from satellites.[5] Much of the available satellite imagery is no more than three years old and is updated on a regular basis, according to a 2011 report.[6] Google Maps previously used a variant of the Mercator projection, and therefore could not accurately show areas around the poles.[7] In August 2018, the desktop version of Google Maps was updated to show a 3D globe. It is still possible to switch back to the 2D map in the settings.

Google Maps for mobile devices were first released in 2006; the latest versions feature GPS turn-by-turn navigation along with dedicated parking assistance features. By 2013, it was found to be the world's most popular smartphone app, with over 54% of global smartphone owners using it.[8] In 2017, the app was reported to have two billion users on Android, along with several other Google services including YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Search, and Google Play.

  1. ^ "Google Maps Metrics and Infographics". Google Maps for iPhone. Archived from the original on March 21, 2022. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "Our history in depth". Google Company. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  3. ^ "Google Maps API". Google Developers. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012.
  4. ^ Perez, Sarah (November 8, 2016). "Google to shut down Map Maker, its crowdsourced map editing tool". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Blurry or outdated imagery". Google Earth Help. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  6. ^ Anderson, Frank (October 18, 2011). "How Often is Google Maps and Google Earth Updated?". TechnicaMix. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "Map Types – Google Maps JavaScript API v3 — Google Developers". Google Inc. July 27, 2012. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  8. ^ "Google+ Smartphone App Popularity". Business Insider. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2013.

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