Google Maps rolls out new features in time for summer holidays

27 Jul 2022

Image: © Diego/

Google Maps users are getting cycling route updates, location-sharing notifications and aerial views of landmarks.

Google Maps is rolling out several new updates in time for your summer travels.

These include photorealistic aerial views of popular landmarks, more detailed cycling routes and location-sharing features.

Google Maps’ director of product, Amanda Leicht Moore, outlined these new features in a blogpost published today (27 July).

“Google Maps can help you transform the way you coordinate plans and stay connected this summer and beyond. Whether you’re checking out top landmarks in a new city, planning to hop on your bike, or hanging out with friends around town, these updates have you covered,” she wrote.

Many people use Google Maps to check information about landmarks, so it will now provide photorealistic aerial views of more than 100 famous landmarks across the world.

This update is the first step in the tech giant’s plan to launch an immersive view on Maps. This is an experience that pairs AI with billions of high definition Street View, satellite and aerial imagery.

Aerial views of landmarks in cities such as Barcelona, New York and Tokyo are now available. To see an aerial view of a landmark, search for it in Google Maps and go to the Photos section.

For more than 12 years, Google Maps has provided cycling routes. It uses AI paired with data from cities, trusted cartographic partners and feedback from the Google community.

Now, cyclists can get better and more detailed information on the routes they plan to take, including elevation on hills, heavy traffic and road surface types.

According to Leicht Moore, this update was made because many more people are taking up cycling as a more sustainable transport option. Once the feature is available in the coming weeks, users can see the data when they search for cycling routes on Google Maps.

Lastly, Google Maps is adding location-sharing notifications aimed at making travellers feel safer. A user can share their location so their loved ones know where they are, or to help coordinate schedules when a group is meeting up at a particular point.

Both the location-sharing feature and the aerial views of landmarks are being rolled out now on Google Maps on Android and iOS.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.