In a world of great wonders, Google Maps stands tall as one of the most amazing.
A marvel as interesting as the routes and destinations the maps highlight, to both the armchair traveler and the real-world trekker.
Now these online maps have gotten better for 10 European countries.
Google has recently put out updated maps for 10 countries and regions in Europe: Andorra, Bulgaria, Estonia, Gibraltar, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
The update is part of an initiative Google launched in 2008 called Ground Truth.
The Ground Truth initiative marries high-quality map data that Google acquires from authoritative sources around the world with a mix of advanced algorithms, supplemental data (including satellite, aerial and Street View imagery), and human input to build a map that corresponds as closely as possible to the real-world facts that travelers would find if they were to visit that location.
Google Maps strives to provide both richness of detail for an area and the latest information.
For example, the recent update adds a new 70-km section of Bulgaria’s Trakiya motorway, which opened recently to drivers but hasn’t been reflected on most maps of the region until now.
But savvy travelers know well that roads and highways alone don’t define the character of a place, and they aren’t always sufficient to help them get around.
To provide richer details of an area, Google Maps integrates information such as walking paths, ferry lines, building outlines, park boundaries, university campuses and more to offer a more comprehensive and more realistic experience for locals, visitors and armchair travelers alike.
The new map of Spain shows not merely the familiar landmarks Museo del Prado and Parque del Retiro in Madrid but also additional building models in surrounding neighborhoods, the well-known “Estanque” (or pond) in the center of the park, and detailed walking paths throughout both the park and the nearby Royal Botanical Gardens.
Including the European update, the maps that Google has built through the Ground Truth initiative are now available in a total of 40 countries worldwide.