Type of site
|Registration||Optional, included with a Google Account|
|Launched||February 8, 2005|
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[update], Google Maps was being used by over 1 billion people every month around the world.
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. 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. Google Maps previously used a variant of the Mercator projection, and therefore could not accurately show areas around the poles. 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 Android and iOS devices was released in September 2008 and features 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. In 2017, the app was reported to have 2 billion users on Android, along with several other Google services including YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Search, and Google Play.
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