Google Maps is one of the most widely used maps application in the world. No wonder when Apple replaces Google Maps with Apple Maps on their phone, many iPhone owners feel disappointed. So, what makes Google Maps becomes so popular? Here are ten interesting facts about Google Maps.
1. Combining aerial, satellite and street view images, Google Maps has more than 20 petabytes of data, which is equal to about 20,500 terabytes or 21 million gigabytes.
2. Depending on the data availability, aerial and satellite images are updated every two weeks. For Street view images, Google will update it as soon as possible, though Google wasn't able to offer specific schedules, due to its dependence on factors such as weather, driving conditions, etc.
3. According to a Google spokesperson, users occasionally report "odd or unpleasant moments" captured on Google Maps — usually in Street View. The team works quickly to review and take action, if necessary. Users can report an image by clicking "Report a problem" at the bottom of the image, and those requests are regularly monitored and responded to by Google employees.
4. Google maps have a technology that automatically blurs faces to protect a person's privacy in Street View. In addition, users can also ask it to Google.
5. The Satellite imagery for both Google Maps and Google Earth comes from from various sources and third party providers.
Usually, the same information is available to anyone who purchased a license from public, government, commercial, as well as private sector sources.
6. Google Street View originally started with the camera lens with a low quality image, but now the system has a Street View camera lens 15 and can produce images with a resolution of approximately 65 megapixels.
7. The 15 lenses in the Street View camera system take photos in various directions, and then aligns the photos and stitches them together to create a continuous 360-degree panoramic image, using imaging techniques to lessen the seams.
8. In addition to the SUV, Google also uses trikes, trolleys, and snowmobiling to take pictures. The Trikes are used to take pictures of parks, campuses, stadiums and other areas that an SUV can't access.
Trolleys are used to take pictures inside the building while snowmobile captures images across snowy terrains.
9. The Street View team has taken over 10 millions images since the Street View project began in 2007, and they've driven more than 5 million unique miles of road.
10. Google has worked with thousands of business owners from eight states to bring Street View technology inside buildings. Currently, this service is available in the Australia, Canada, France, US, UK, Ireland, Netherlands and New Zealand. The users can look around the inside of the White House, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other famous landmarks.
Through the Google Art Project, you can also check out static images of art collections from 156 museums around the world.