To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Google Maps
GoogleMaps logo.svg
Google maps screenshot.png
Screenshot of Google Maps on a web browser
Type of site
Web mapping
Available inMultilingual
OwnerGoogle LLC
RegistrationOptional, included with a Google Account
LaunchedFebruary 8, 2005; 14 years ago (2005-02-08)
Current statusActive
Written inC++ (back-end), JavaScript, XML, Ajax (UI)

Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle and air (in beta), or public transportation.

Google Maps began as a C++ desktop program 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 realtime traffic analyzer, Google Maps was launched in February 2005.[1] 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,[2] 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 will be transferred to the Google Local Guides program.[3]

Google Maps' satellite view is a "top-down" or "birds 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.[4] Much of the available satellite imagery is no more than three years old and is updated on a regular basis.[5] Google Maps used a variant of the Mercator projection, and therefore cannot accurately show areas around the poles.[6] However, in August 2018, the desktop version of Google Maps was updated to show a 3D globe.

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. In August 2013, it was determined to be the world's most popular app for smartphones, with over 54% of global smartphone owners using it at least once.[7]

In 2012, Google reported having over 7,100 employees and contractors directly working in mapping.[8]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ 10 Disasters Caused By Google Maps
  • ✪ 10 Creepy Google Maps Images, Finally Explained!
  • ✪ Get Paid Daily By Using Google Maps! (Working 2019!)
  • ✪ The Fake Neighborhoods on Google Maps


ten disasters caused by Google Maps number ten highway hell back in 2010 the walking directions provided by Google Maps were still being affected and they couldn't always be trusted to lead you where you were supposed to go granted they don't always do that now but back then are the instructions were unreliable enough the Google voted best to include a warning it read walking directions are in beta use caution this route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths but this warning didn't appear if you were using the software on a black brief at least according to the lawsuit filed by Lauren Rosenberg Rosenberg had been walking at night through Park City in Utah when Google directed her across a four-lane highway without sidewalks this didn't align with the route on her blackberry as she tried to cross the road but was hit by speeding car in the process this left Rosenberg with multiple bone fractures requiring six weeks of rehabilitation and was the basis for her $100,000 lawsuit against Google however the court ultimately ruled that Google had no legal responsibility towards Rosenberg and the case was dismissed in 2011 number nine land dispute located between Costa Rica and Nicaragua Calero Island has been the source of numerous disputes since it was officially recognized as part of Costa Rica in 1897 debates over its sovereignty reached a fever pitch in 2010 when former guerrilla commander Aden Pastora led a troop of Nicaraguan soldiers to the island the group set up camp on the foreign territory and even planted a Nicaraguan flag cementing the act as an official invasion bad so that wasn't the case in the eyes of Pastora who like any responsible traveler and checked Google Maps before setting off to invade a country as past oratory Costa Rican newspaper Google had clearly placed the island on the Nicaraguan side of the border which for Pastora was enough to justify an invasion 150 Costa Rican agents had been sent to the island a month earlier after border tensions fled and additional security forces were deployed when pistorius troops are right thankfully no conflict broke out and google amended the mistake suggesting that they shouldn't be used as a reference to decide military actions or you could just use Bing who put the border in the right place number eight out of business in 2010 Buffalo based jewelry store Barbara Oliver & Co closed the doors to the public after six successful years in business the years had been so successful in fact that it was difficult to understand why exactly they decided to call it a day perhaps it was the spate of unfavourable online reviews they've recently received both the reviews and their status as permanently closed were the result of a Google Maps hacker Barbara Oliver had no intention of closing her store but had fallen victim to a scam that had also had three other local jeweler's but who was responsible surely whoever pulled off a stunt like this was smart enough to cover their tracks well no as it happens another jeweler in the area had been bolstering their own Google listing with five-star reviews leaving all of us straight to them luckily her other reviews were positive enough in doctor impact our overall rating and once Google officially reopened the store business continued to boom sadly though any legal action Oliver may have taken isn't public record so we can only hope Oliver found justice number 7 caught in the act in 2018 a Peruvian man who understandably elected to remain anonymous was browsing Google Maps he was looking for the best route to puente de los perros de barranco a popular bridge in lima when he spotted something strange sitting on a bench near the bridge was a woman wearing clothes that he distinctly remembered his wife owning but this couldn't have been his wife because of resting romantically on her lap was a man who was definitely not him however even as a blurred face the man was sure he recognized his spouse he confronted her with the pictures and she confessed her infidelity tragically the incriminating photos had been taken by a Google camera car all the way back in 2013 this meant that the affair had been going on for five years at least the man was none the wiser and would have stayed in the dock if he hun felt like visiting a local tourist spot according to local news the couple can't overcome these differences and later divorced although Street View is yet to confirm whether either of them are dating again number six wrong house wrong time in 2015 a tornado tore through the Texas suburb of Rowlett resulting in major damage to over 1,000 homes and businesses one of these belonged in Lindsey Diaz whose roof was blown off and her family possessions were destroyed but as the house was salvageable and Diaz had plans to reconstruct the building she'd submitted her building plans and had started raising funds on top of her insurance payouts but on March 22nd 2016 she returned to the property to discover that a house had been torn down by a demolition crew the workers from Billy L neighbor's demolition explained that they had been given official permits by the city to demolish seven six zero one and seven six zero three closed out Drive so what happened well Diaz and her neighbor lived at seven six zero one and seven six zero three Calypso Drive one block away from cost out Drive a Google Maps glitch had sent the crew to the wrong address and when they saw the damage to the building they assumed they had the right house the company apologized to Diaz then again to Google for inadvertently blaming them and promised to make restitution for the roughly two hundred thousand dollars in damage number five lonely road amber van Hecke was traveling to see the Grand Canyon in 2017 when she noticed she only had enough gas left for another 70 miles but despite being surrounded by an expanse of Arizona desert the 24 year old assumed that there would be no shortage of gas stations in a tourist attraction like the Grand Canyon and according to Google she was just 35 miles away as you might have guessed this wasn't strictly true Google Maps told van Hecke to turn onto a road that simply wasn't there this led her to an equally fictional spot on the map at which point her car finally gave out with no civilisation in sight van Hecke refused to panic she had food and water and built a large help sign for passing aircrafts but after five days and almost all of her supplies no one had come to Van x8 and she decided it was time to go but heck hiked through the desert for eleven miles until she found enough reception to call police van Hecke was airlifted to a hospital although it's unclear yet where the google will fit the bill number four wardrobe malfunction in 2009 a woman was sitting on the front steps of her Montreal home checking her emails on her phone when a Google car drove past taking photos she didn't think anything of it but in 2011 she recalled the events man checked to see if she made it onto the website as it happened she has but she soon wish that there wasn't the case as the Google car had captured much more than she'd ever intended to show as she'd been leaning over her photo had been taken at such an angle that her tank top had exposed her this was online for all to see and although her face was blurred a home address was not leaving her exposed in more ways than one this led to what she described as humiliating encounters with friends family and colleagues and she sought restitution Google argued that it had blurred all of the woman's details physical and otherwise and the woman was afforded just $2,250 offer $7,000 claim because we wouldn't want a bankrupt Google now would we number 3 military secrets in 2019 a Google launched a new function providing 3d rendered terrain for for tyranny cities this seemed like a pretty cool addition to the cities presence on the website but the plan had one major flaw one of the cities now available in i popping 3d was New Taipei which was home to one of Taiwan's secret military bases in New Taipei shinden district the exact location and structures of the classified Patriot missile defense base were laid bare to the world the terrain was detailed enough to include the exact launchers and below so the missile stored there as well as the defense infrastructure of two of Taiwan's military bureaus this is a dangerous amount of information for any military state to release but Taiwan is already on thin ice the island has been self roared since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 but the People's Republic of China still views Taiwan as its own territory before the incident China's president had described Taiwan's reunification as inevitable he claimed China would not hesitate to use force making Google's mistake a potentially catastrophic one number two tourist trap for ten years Laurie kneading and her husband had lived next to two other families at the end of a quarter-mile driveway in Huntington County New Jersey they enjoyed the space and seclusion as well as the Round Valley State Park annexed to the house which needing described as basically my backyard in 2008 needings once-peaceful driveway became increasingly populated by lost tourists numbers steadily increased until they were arriving in their dozens and leaving was informed that Google Maps had identified her driveway as the entrance to Round Valley reservoir in response needing perturbs science to steer tourists in the right direction but nothing worked on Memorial Day 2011 she and her husband were away for the weekend but her neighbors had to call the police on a group who parked in her driveway and set up callers when asked to leave the tourists through insults of the neighbors and dump trash on the ground eventually Google addressed the problem although there's no word on whether Google will reimburse her for the plywood science and the $125 traffic barrier she purchased in the mean time number one sunrise sunset in the state of Florida the city of sunrise has a population of roughly 90,000 and boasts attractions that draw in several million tourists a year but for 30 days in 2010 tourism took a major hit when these 90,000 inhabitants simply upped and left in fact according to Google Maps the entire city simply ceased to exist instead two searching the sunrise florida directed users to sarasota florida which is probably a lovely place in its own right but it's an inconvenient 200 miles away from sunrise as a result local shop owner sherry tan rozina watched home where borders fool to almost zero she claims that revenues across the city were down but also that the residents and visitors alike one able to find a police department and other essential services Mike Ryan mayor of sunrise before its sudden Exodus claimed this was the third time Google had wiped the city from its maps he sent a map of sunrise to Google CEO Eric Schmidt to make a point which appears to have worked as the city was restored and hasn't gone walkabout since so that was ten disasters caused by Google Mouse which one do you think caused the most habit let us know in the comments below and make sure you check out this Alton's video which is on screen now




Google Maps first started as a C++ program designed by two Danish brothers, Lars and Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen, at the Sydney-based company Where 2 Technologies. It was first designed to be separately downloaded by users, but the company later pitched the idea for a purely Web-based product to Google management, changing the method of distribution.[9] In October 2004, the company was acquired by Google Inc.[10] where it transformed into the web application Google Maps. In the same month, Google acquired Keyhole, a geospatial data visualization company (with controversial investment from the CIA), whose marquee application suite, Earth Viewer, emerged as the highly successful Google Earth application in 2005 while other aspects of its core technology were integrated into Google Maps.[11] In September 2004, Google acquired ZipDash, a company that provided realtime traffic analysis.[12]


Google Maps Beta in 2005
Google Maps Beta in 2005

The launch of Google Maps was first announced on the Google Blog on February 8, 2005.[13]

In September 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Google Maps quickly updated its satellite imagery of New Orleans to allow users to view the extent of the flooding in various parts of that city.[14][15]

On November 28, 2007, Google Maps for Mobile 2.0 was released.[16][17][18] It featured a beta version of a "My Location" feature, which uses the GPS / Assisted GPS location of the mobile device, if available, supplemented by determining the nearest wireless networks and cell sites.[17][18] The software looks up the location of the cell site using a database of known wireless networks and sites.[19][20] By triangulating the different signal strengths from cell transmitters and then using their location property (retrieved from the database), My Location determines the user's current location.[21]

On September 23, 2008, coinciding with the announcement of the first commercial Android device, Google announced that a Google Maps app had been released for its Android operating system.[22][23]

In October 2009, Google replaced Tele Atlas as their primary supplier of geospatial data in the US version of Maps and used their own data.[24]


On April 19, 2011, Map Maker was added to the American version of Google Maps, allowing any viewer to edit and add changes to Google Maps. This provides Google with local map updates almost in real time instead waiting for digital map data companies to release more infrequent updates.

On January 31, 2012, Google, due to offering its Maps for free, was found guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Google Maps application and ordered by a court to pay a fine and damages to Bottin Cartographer, a French mapping company.[25] This ruling was overturned on appeal.[26]

In June 2012, Google started mapping Britain's rivers and canals in partnership with the Canal and River Trust. The company has stated that it will update the program during the year to allow users to plan trips which include locks, bridges and towpaths along the 2,000 miles of river paths in the UK.[27]

A monument in the shape of Google Maps pin in the center of the city of Szczecin, Poland
A monument in the shape of Google Maps pin in the center of the city of Szczecin, Poland

In December 2012, the Google Maps application was separately made available in the App Store, after Apple removed it from its default installation of the mobile operating system version iOS 6 in September 2012.[28]

On January 29, 2013, Google Maps was updated to include a map of North Korea.[29] As of May 3, 2013, Google Maps recognizes Palestine as a country, instead of redirecting to the Palestinian territories.[30]

In August 2013, Google Maps removed the Wikipedia Layer, which provided links to Wikipedia content about locations shown in Google Maps using Wikipedia geocodes.[31]

On April 12, 2014, Google Maps was updated to reflect the 2014 Crimean crisis. Crimea is shown as the Republic of Crimea in Russia and as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine. All other versions show a dotted disputed border.[32]

In April 2015, on a map near the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, imagery of the Android logo urinating on the Apple logo was added via Map Maker and appeared on Google Maps. The vandalism was soon removed and Google publicly apologized.[33] However, as a result, Google disabled user moderation on Map Maker, and on May 12, disabled editing worldwide until it could devise a new policy for approving edits and avoiding vandalism.[34]

On April 29, 2015, users of the classic Google Maps were forwarded to the new Google Maps with the option to revert removed from the interface.[35]

On July 14, 2015, the Chinese name for Scarborough Shoal was removed after a petition from the Philippines was posted on[36]


On June 27, 2016, Google rolled out new satellite imagery worldwide sourced from Landsat 8, comprising over 700 trillion pixels of new data.[37] In September 2016, Google Maps acquired mapping analytics startup Urban Engines.[38]

In 2016, the Government of South Korea offered Google conditional access to the country's geographic database – access that already allows indigenous Korean mapping providers high-detail maps. Google declined the offer, as it was unwilling to accept restrictions on reducing the quality around locations the South Korean Government felt were sensitive.[39]

On October 16, 2017, Google Maps was updated with accessible imagery of several planets and moons such as Titan, Mercury, and Venus, as well as direct access to imagery of the Moon and Mars.[40][41]

In May 2018, Google announced major changes to the API structure starting June 11, 2018. This change consolidated the 18 different endpoints into three services and merged the basic and premium plans into one pay-as-you-go plan.[42] In June, Google postponed the change date to July 16, 2018.

In August 2018, Google Maps designed its overall view (when zoomed out completely) into a 3D globe dropping the Mercator projection, which was used to project the planet onto a flat surface.[43] In January 2019, Google Maps added speed trap and speed camera alerts as reported by other users.[44]


Directions and transit

Google Maps provides a route planner,[45] allowing users to find available directions through driving, public transportation, walking, or biking.[46] Google has partnered globally with over 800 public transportation providers to adopt General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), making the data available to third parties.[47][48]

Traffic conditions

Screenshot of Google Maps with traffic option enabled
Screenshot of Google Maps with traffic option enabled

In 2007, Google began offering traffic data as a colored overlay on top of roads and motorways to represent the speed of traffic. Crowdsourcing is used to obtain the GPS-determined locations of a large number of cellphone users, from which live traffic maps are produced.[49][50][51]

Google has stated that the speed and location information it collects to calculate traffic conditions is anonymous.[52] Options available in each phone's settings allow users not to share information about their location with Google Maps.[53] Google stated, "Once you disable or opt out of My Location, Maps will not continue to send radio information back to Google servers to determine your handset's approximate location".[54][not in citation given]

Street View

Google Maps car at Googleplex, Mountain View
Google Maps car at Googleplex, Mountain View

On May 25, 2007, Google released Google Street View, a new feature of Google Maps which provides 360° panoramic street-level views of various locations. On the date of release, the feature only included five cities in the US. It has since expanded to thousands of locations around the world. In July 2009, Google began mapping college campuses and surrounding paths and trails.

Street View garnered much controversy after its release because of privacy concerns about the uncensored nature of the panoramic photographs, although the views are only taken on public streets.[55][56] Since then, Google has begun blurring faces and license plates through automated facial recognition.[57][58][59]

In late 2014, Google launched Google Underwater Street View, including 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) of the Australian Great Barrier Reef in 3D. The images are taken by special cameras which turn 360 degrees and take shots every 3 seconds.[60]

45° imagery

An example of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the 45° view

In December 2009, Google introduced a new view consisting of 45° angle aerial imagery, offering a "bird's eye view" of cities. The first cities available were San Jose and San Diego. This feature was initially available only to developers via the Google Maps API.[61] In February 2010, it was introduced as an experimental feature in Google Maps Labs.[62] In July 2010, 45° imagery was made available in Google Maps in select cities in the United States and worldwide.[63]

Business listings

Google collates business listings from multiple on-line and off-line sources. To reduce duplication in the index, Google's algorithm combines listings automatically based on address, phone number, or geocode,[64] but sometimes information for separate businesses will be inadvertently merged with each other, resulting in listings inaccurately incorporating elements from multiple businesses.[65] Google allows business owners to verify their own business data through Google My Business,[66] and has also recruited volunteers to check and correct ground truth data.[67]

Google Maps can easily be manipulated by businesses which aren't physically located in the area they record a listing.[68] There are cases of people abusing Google Maps to overtake their competition where they place a number of unverified listings on online directory sites knowing the information will roll across to Google (duplicate sites). The people that update these listings do not use a registered business name. Keywords and location details are placed on their Google Maps business title which overtake credible business listings. In Australia in particular, genuine companies and businesses are noticing a trend of fake business listings in a variety of industries.[69]

Indoor maps

In March 2011, indoor maps were added to Google Maps, giving users the ability to navigate themselves within buildings such as airports, museums, shopping malls, big-box stores, universities, transit stations, and other public spaces (including underground facilities). Google encourages owners of public facilities to submit floor plans of their buildings in order to add them to the service.[70] Map users can view different floors of a building or subway station by clicking on a level selector that is displayed near any structures which are mapped on multiple levels.

My Maps

Google My Maps
Google My Maps

My Maps is a feature in Google Maps launched in April 2007 that enables users to create custom maps for personal use or sharing. Users can add points, lines, shapes, notes and images on top of Google Maps using a WYSIWYG editor.[71] An Android app for My Maps, initially released in March 2013 under the name Google Maps Engine Lite, is also available.[72][73]

Google Local Guides

Google Local Guides is a program launched by Google Maps to enable its users to contribute to Google Maps and provide them additional perks and benefits for the work. The program is partially a successor to Google Map Maker as features from the former program became integrated into the website and app.[74]

The program consists of adding reviews, photos, basic information, videos and correcting information such as wheelchair accessibility.[75][76]


A split view screenshot of Google Maps. In the bottom half the Street Maps is shown, while in the top half the Street View is shown. A user can zoom-in and out either of them independently of the zoom level of each.
A split view screenshot of Google Maps. In the bottom half the Street Maps is shown, while in the top half the Street View is shown. A user can zoom-in and out either of them independently of the zoom level of each.

As the user drags the map, the grid squares are downloaded from the server and inserted into the page. When a user searches for a business, the results are downloaded in the background for insertion into the side panel and map; the page is not reloaded. A hidden iframe with form submission is used because it preserves browser history. Like many other Google web applications, Google Maps uses JavaScript extensively.[77] The site also uses JSON for data transfer rather than XML, for performance reasons.

The version of Google Street View for classic Google Maps required Adobe Flash.[78] In October 2011, Google announced MapsGL, a WebGL version of Maps with better renderings and smoother transitions.[79] Indoor maps uses JPG, .PNG, .PDF, .BMP, or .GIF, for floor plans.[80]

Users who are logged into a Google Account can save locations so that they are overlaid on the map with various colored "pins" whenever they browse the application. These "Saved places" can be organised into user named lists and shared with other users. One default list "Starred places" also automatically creates a record in another Google product, Google Bookmarks.

Map data and imagery

The Google Maps terms and conditions[81] state that usage of material from Google Maps is regulated by Google Terms of Service[82] and some additional restrictions. Google has either purchased local map data from established companies, or has entered into lease agreements to use copyrighted map data. The owner of the copyright is listed at the bottom of zoomed maps. For example, street maps in Japan are leased from Zenrin. Street maps in China are leased from AutoNavi.[83] Russian street maps are leased from Geocentre Consulting and Tele Atlas. Data for North Korea is sourced from the companion project Google Map Maker.

Street map overlays, in some areas, may not match up precisely with the corresponding satellite images. The street data may be entirely erroneous, or simply out of date: "The biggest challenge is the currency of data, the authenticity of data," said Google Earth representative Brian McClendon. As a result, in March 2008 Google added a feature to edit the locations of houses and businesses.[84][85]

Restrictions have been placed on Google Maps through the apparent censoring of locations deemed potential security threats. In some cases the area of redaction is for specific buildings, but in other cases, such as Washington, D.C.,[86] the restriction is to use outdated imagery.

Google Maps API

After the success of reverse-engineered mashups such as and, Google launched the Google Maps API in June 2005[87] to allow developers to integrate Google Maps into their websites. It was a free service that didn't require an API key until June 2018 (changes went into effect on July 16), when it was announced that an API key linked to a Google Cloud account with billing enabled would be required to access the API.[88] The API currently does not contain ads, but Google states in their terms of use that they reserve the right to display ads in the future.[89]

By using the Google Maps API, it is possible to embed Google Maps into an external website, on to which site-specific data can be overlaid.[90] Although initially only a JavaScript API, the Maps API was expanded to include an API for Adobe Flash applications (but this has been deprecated), a service for retrieving static map images, and web services for performing geocoding, generating driving directions, and obtaining elevation profiles. Over 1,000,000[91] web sites use the Google Maps API, making it the most heavily used web application development API.[92] In September 2011, Google announced it would deprecate the Google Maps API for Flash.[93]

The Google Maps API is free for commercial use, provided that the site on which it is being used is publicly accessible and does not charge for access, and is not generating more than 25,000 map accesses a day.[94][95] Sites that do not meet these requirements can purchase the Google Maps API for Business.[96]

As of 21 June, 2018, Google increased the prices of the Maps API and requires a billing profile.[97]

Google Maps in China

Due to restrictions on geographic data in China, Google Maps must partner with a Chinese digital map provider in order to legally show China map data. Since 2006, this partner has been AutoNavi.[83]

Within China, the State Council mandates that all maps of China use the GCJ-02 coordinate system, which is offset from the WGS-84 system used in most of the world. (formerly Google Ditu) uses the GCJ-02 system for both its street maps[98] and satellite imagery.[99] also uses GCJ-02 data for the street map, but uses WGS-84 coordinates for satellite imagery,[100] causing the so-called China GPS shift problem.

Frontier alignments also present some differences between and On the latter, sections of the Chinese border with India and Pakistan are shown with dotted lines, indicating areas or frontiers in dispute. However, shows the Chinese frontier strictly according to Chinese claims with no dotted lines indicating the border with India and Pakistan. For example, the South Tibet region claimed by China but administered by India as a large part of Arunachal Pradesh is shown inside the Chinese frontier by, with Indian highways ending abruptly at the Chinese claim line. also shows Taiwan and the South China Sea Islands as part of China. Google Ditu's street map coverage of Taiwan no longer omits major state organs, such as the Presidential Palace, the five Yuans, and the Supreme Court.[101]

Feature-wise, does not feature My Maps. On the other hand, while displays virtually all text in Chinese, displays most text (user-selectable real text as well as those on map) in English. This behavior of displaying English text is not consistent but intermittent – sometimes it is in English, sometimes it is in Chinese. The criteria for choosing which language is displayed are not known publicly.

Discontinued features

Google Latitude

Google Latitude was a feature from Google that lets users share their physical locations with other people. This service was based on Google Maps, specifically on mobile devices. There was an iGoogle widget for desktops and laptops as well.[102] Some concerns were expressed about the privacy issues raised by the use of the service. On August 9, 2013, this service was discontinued,[103] and in March 22, 2017, Google incorporated the features from Latitude into the Google Maps app.[104]

Google Map Maker

In areas where Google Map Maker was available, for example, much of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe as well as the United States and Canada, anyone who logged into their Google account could directly improve the map by fixing incorrect driving directions, adding biking trails, or adding a missing building or road. General map errors in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States could be reported using the Report a Problem link in Google Maps and would be updated by Google.[105] For areas where Google used Tele Atlas data, map errors could be reported using Tele Atlas map insight.[106]

If imagery was missing, outdated, misaligned, or generally incorrect, one could notify Google through their contact request form.[107]

In November 2016, Google announced the discontinuation of Google Map Maker as of March 2017.[108]

Mobile app

Google Maps
A screenshot of Google Maps on Android Lollipop
A screenshot of Google Maps on Android Lollipop
Original author(s)Google
Initial releaseSeptember 23, 2008; 10 years ago (2008-09-23)
Stable release(s) [±]
Android10.13.3 / April 7, 2019; 7 days ago (2019-04-07)[109]
Wear OS9.76.1 / April 25, 2018; 11 months ago (2018-04-25)[110]
iOS5.13 / March 17, 2019; 28 days ago (2019-03-17)[111]
Preview release(s) [±]
Android10.13.3 / April 7, 2019; 7 days ago (2019-04-07)[112]
Operating system

Google Maps is available as a mobile app for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. The Android app was first released in September 2008,[113][114] though the GPS-localization feature had been in testing on cellphones since 2007.[115][116][117] Up until iOS 6, the built-in maps application on the iOS operating system was powered by Google Maps. However, with the announcement of iOS 6 in June 2012, Apple announced that they had created their own Apple Maps mapping service,[118] which officially replaced Google Maps when iOS 6 was released on September 19, 2012.[119] However, at launch, Apple Maps received significant criticism from users due to inaccuracies, errors and bugs.[120][121] One day later, The Guardian reported that Google was preparing its own Google Maps app,[122] which was released on December 12, 2012.[123][124] Within only two days, the application had been downloaded over ten million times.[125]


The Google Maps apps for iOS and Android have many of the same features, including turn-by-turn navigation, street view, and public transit information.[126][127] Turn-by-turn navigation was originally announced by Google as a separate beta testing app exclusive to Android 2.0 devices in October 2009.[128][129] The original standalone iOS version did not support the iPad,[127] but tablet support was added with version 2.0 in July 2013.[130] An update in June 2012 for Android devices added support for offline access to downloaded maps of certain regions,[131][132] a feature that was eventually released for iOS devices, and made more robust on Android, in May 2014.[133][134]

At the end of 2015 Google Maps announced its new offline functionality,[135] but with various limitations – downloaded area cannot exceed 120,000 square kilometres[136][137] and require considerable amount of storage space.[138] In January 2017, Google added a feature exclusively to Android that will, in some U.S. cities, indicate the level of difficulty in finding available parking spots,[139] and on both Android and iOS, the app can, as of an April 2017 update, remember where users parked.[140][141] In August 2017, Google Maps for Android was updated with new functionality to actively help the user in finding parking lots and garages close to a destination.[142] In December 2017, Google added a new two-wheeler mode to its Android app, designed for users in India, allowing for more accessibility in traffic conditions.[143][144]


USA Today welcomed the application back to iOS, saying: "The reemergence in the middle of the night of a Google Maps app for the iPhone is like the return of an old friend. Only your friend, who'd gone missing for three months, comes back looking better than ever."[145] Jason Parker of CNET, calling it "the king of maps", said, "With its iOS Maps app, Google sets the standard for what mobile navigation should be and more."[146] Bree Fowler of the Associated Press compared Google's and Apple's map applications, saying: "The one clear advantage that Apple has is style. Like Apple devices, the maps are clean and clear and have a fun, pretty element to them, especially in 3-D. But when it comes down to depth and information, Google still reigns superior and will no doubt be welcomed back by its fans."[147] Gizmodo gave it a ranking of 4.5 stars, stating: "Maps Done Right".[148] According to The New York Times, Google "admits that it’s [iOS app is] even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus".[149]

However, Google Maps' location tracking is widely regarded as a threat to users' privacy, with Dylan Tweney of VentureBeat writing in August 2014 that "Google is probably logging your location, step by step, via Google Maps", and linked users to Google's location history map, which "lets you see the path you’ve traced for any given day that your smartphone has been running Google Maps". Tweney then provided instructions on how disable location history.[150] The history tracking was also noticed, and recommended disabled, by editors at CNET[151] and TechCrunch.[152] Additionally, Quartz reported in April 2014 that a "sneaky new privacy change" would have an effect on the majority of iOS users. The privacy change, an update to the Gmail iOS app that "now supports sign-in across Google iOS apps, including Maps, Drive, YouTube and Chrome", meant that Google would be able to identify users' actions across its different apps.[153]

Potential misuse

In 2005 the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) complained about the potential for terrorists to use the satellite images in planning attacks, with specific reference to the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor; however, the Australian Federal government did not support the organization's concern. At the time of the ANSTO complaint, Google had colored over some areas for security (mostly in the US), such as the rooftop of the White House and several other Washington, D.C., US buildings.[154][155][156]

In October 2010, Nicaraguan military commander Edén Pastora stationed Nicaraguan troops on the Isla Calero (in the delta of the San Juan River), justifying his action on the border delineation given by Google Maps. Google has since updated its data which it found to be incorrect.[157]

On January 27, 2014, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and the GCHQ intercepted Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and used them to locate the users making these queries. One leaked document, dating to 2008, stated that "[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system."[158]

Comparable services

  • OpenStreetMap – a royalty free, editable map of the world
  • Apple Maps – Apple's map service, launched in 2012 with iOS 6 to replace the Google Maps application on iOS devices
  • Bing Maps – Microsoft's map service with road maps and aerial/satellite imagery
  • Mapbox – an online service to build custom maps based on OpenStreetMap
  • Here WeGo – a map service developed by Navteq and Nokia and since 2015 owned by a German automobile consortium
  • Leaflet – a widely used open source JavaScript library used to build web mapping applications
  • TomTom Maps – a map service built on top of Tele Atlas, which TomTom acquired in 2008
  • Waze – similar to Google Maps but also offers right of way indication in satellite mode, along with traffic incidents
  • Géoportail – a French rival offering detailed aerial photographs of French territories
  • NearMap – Australia specific aerial photography, regularly updated (paid subscription service)
  • Naver Maps[159] – a South Korean mapping service offering a comprehensive map of South Korea and Jeju.
  • PinMaps[160] – an online service that allow users to add pins on a map
  • Maps of Switzerland[161] – a Swiss federal service offering very rich maps and layers of Switzerland
  • Position Images – perhaps the earliest demo of GPS linked 360° photos on the web; the Wayback Machine recorded it in 2002[162]
  • Tencent Maps – a map service developed by Tencent offering comprehensive satellite imagery, street maps, street view and historical view perspectives, as well as functions such as a route planner for traveling by foot, car, or with public transportation
  • Terralink International
  • ViaMichelin
  • MapQuest – the very first online mapping service
  • Yahoo! Maps (defunct as of June 2015)[163]
  • Yandex Maps

See also


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External links

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