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How Is AI Contributing To Google Maps?

  • Vrinda Mathur
  • Jun 30, 2023
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We are all familiar with Google's revolution in the age of the internet, where the second layer of COVID-19 offered annihilation in an anonymous manner. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have both played crucial roles in this transition. Many of us, however, are perplexed by the fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are diametrically opposed. 

 

This assertion will enlighten our minds: "AI implies methods of making things smarter, whereas ML assists things/machines with learnings/approaches that can truly make them smart." With this statement, it is evident that ML is a subset of AI, and thus it will be difficult to overlook Google's achievements with the support of both - AI and ML.


 

Brief Introduction to Google Maps

 

Google Maps is an online service that provides precise information about geographical regions and locations throughout the world. Aside from traditional road maps, Google Maps provides aerial and satellite views of numerous sites. Google Maps in some cities provides street views composed of images shot from vehicles.

 

As part of the wider web application, Google Maps provides various features. A route planner, for example, provides directions for vehicles, bikers, walkers, and public transportation users heading from one area to another. For amateur astronomers, other services include photos of the moon, Mars, and the skies.

 

When it comes to collecting data to assist, maintain and improve Google Maps, it appears like there is never enough – and the impressive part is that none of that data is older than three years. This is a massive undertaking.

 

  1. Map Partners:

 

Google's Base Map Partner Program collaborates with "the most comprehensive and authoritative data sources" to aid in this endeavor. Google receives comprehensive vector data from a large number of authorities, including the USDA Forest Service, the US National Park Service, the US Geological Survey, numerous municipal and county governments, and so on.


 

  1. Street View:

 

Google Street View is an endless journey. With a vast fleet of vehicles spread around the globe, their goal is to drive around every available road they can discover, snapping 360-degree photos along the way. Google overlays Street View photographs on top of its base map based on the GPS coordinates of those automobiles. Street View provides far more than a stitched image of streets and destinations. Google can "read" items like road signs, traffic signs, and business names using ever-improving optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities.


 

  1. Satellites: 

 

Another layer of Google Maps is the satellite view. This is a tight collaboration with Google Earth, combining high-resolution photos of the Earth acquired from above by satellites. These photos are cross-checked against other layers of data, such as Street View, as well as data given by third-party organizations. This allows Maps to detect geological changes, new and updated buildings, and so on.


 

  1. Local Guides:

 

Google has millions of so-called Local Guides in addition to its army of editors. Local Guide is a feature similar to Foursquare, and it is Google's attempt to collect a layer of more subjective data to overlay on top of its main map. Go to My Contributions in Google Maps to look for different locations in your area. You may contribute to this additional layer of data by leaving a review, completing a few questions, and uploading a photo.

 

Also Read | How does Google Maps work?


 

How does GPS Work?

 

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite navigation system. It transmits time and location data to a GPS receiver placed anywhere on or near the earth's surface. GPS works in any weather circumstances as long as there is clear communication with four or more GPS satellites. The US Air Force is in charge of GPS.

 

A GPS device works independently of the user's internet connection or phone signal. However, their existence improves the accuracy of GPS positioning. GPS was originally created for military purposes by the US government, but anyone with a GPS receiver can now receive radio signals from GPS satellites. GPS relies on a constellation of 24 satellites that rotate around the Earth to work in unison.

 

The arrangement is such that 6 orbits of a period equal 12 hours. Furthermore, the distance between them is 60°.GPS uses the triangulation method to pinpoint a specific position. This means that three satellites will collaborate to establish the precise location of an object. Even if one of the existing trio of satellites fails to retrieve the location, the other satellite takes its place. Google Maps uses the concept of crowd-funding to display real-time traffic on roadways. The data on traffic is provided by the people themselves. You are also one of the contributors. Surprised?

 

When a large group of individuals travel in a car and use Google Maps, their GPS (location) is activated. You are not even required to utilize Google Maps. If you allow location services, Google receives all of your data.

 

Google is now intelligent enough. If so many people are traveling at the same speed, the road must be to blame. There is a potential for heavy traffic if all vehicles go slowly. Similarly, if the vehicles are driving quickly, the route is completely clear. Simon Weckert hauled 99 cellphones in a handcart to create simulated traffic bottlenecks in Google Maps to demonstrate this.

 

Google Maps Go is a stripped-down version of the Google Maps mobile software that was initially published for Android Go devices. It was expressly built to run smoothly on devices with limited memory linked to unstable networks – without sacrificing speed, accuracy, real-time traffic updates, or transit information. Google Maps Live View displays real-time Google Maps directions in a realistic environment. At the bottom of the screen, there is effectively a miniature map. Users can also plan a trip to any location on the planet and explore 3D images and live satellite views of the Earth.

 

Also Read | Top 6 Features of Google SERP


 

How does Google use AI

 

You may be wondering if we are using Google applications powered by Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning!! Yes, absolutely, and there are numerous applications. For the time being, we will look at how Google has used Artificial Intelligence concepts in real-time to outperform the accuracy and speed of Human Intelligence.  


How Google Uses AI 

How Google Uses AI


 

  1. Google Search Engine:

 

We are constantly looking for things in our daily lives, whether they are conventional or unusual. The explanation is obvious: seek information that can easily simplify such hassles. Have you ever considered how the internet is empowering such queries - one of the solutions could be Google's search engine!!  

 

We may use a questionnaire to compare them. A questionnaire has numerous questions with multiple responses. Increase or decrease the number of questions, questionnaires, and answer choices!! Similarly, Google's search engine provides solutions to your questions in the form of websites that contain articles or videos that map and solve your problems well. All of this is supported by strong and data-driven algorithms based on efficient Artificial Intelligence ideas.


 

  1. Gmail:

 

Sending and receiving messages are like fluffs that help to build communication. Whether you intend to make a mess or clean it up, communications cannot be ignored. "Hey, Rodger." Can you please produce this report as soon as possible because senior members are expected?", Linda, Are you still monitoring our department's current count?" There may be similar communications that need to be sent for clear and time-saving communication.  

 

In the early 1990s, Google recognized this and developed Google Mail, which we now name Gmail. This multi-purpose program guesses the tones and accompanying emotions of your text and makes suggestions based on the form of email communication (i.e. nonverbal, visual, spoken). And all credit goes to Artificial Intelligence's smart composition and smart answers incorporated in your Gmail accounts!! Whether you welcome someone or ask a question, AI handles it all with little or no oversight.


 

  1. Google Maps:  

 

We used to rely heavily on paper maps or the recommendations of others who were familiar with the routes to our destinations. But the issue was that we never arrived at our destinations on time. You no longer need to seek such advice from people or a paper map because Google Maps has solved the problem.  

 

With regions and over 220 countries such as Delhi, the United States, Pakistan, Australia, and so on, one can affordably reach the destinations already chosen. If you're curious about the technology embedded, the answer is Artificial Intelligence. 


 

  1. Google AdWords:

 

Businesses are constantly on the lookout for advertising solutions that can market their products and related services in a scalable and cost-effective manner. But have you ever wondered what the most difficult challenge is even after they have established a platform? That problem is optimization based on the metrics supplied. There, Google Ads comes to the rescue and allows those businesses to exploit their growth graphs!!  

 

This application includes advertisements such as display ads, search ads, and video ads that run as part of a campaign. Budget and other limits exist, but businesses should not be concerned because their monitoring and relevancy are driven by Artificially Intelligent algorithms that are well-versed in computational thinking and general intelligence.


 

  1. Google News Search:

 

Everyone in today's world wants up-to-date news coverage. Whether the news is harsh, straight, editorial, or any other type, it will not be ignored because this is a form of public opinion that is not direct. Newspapers are important, but what about the paper used to make them? Isn't that a source of pollution in the environment?

 

Keeping this in mind, one can obtain online news feeds, which are made available by Google via Google News. Not only does it provide news, but it also creates recommendations that the newspaper does not reciprocate. 


 

  1. Duplex by Google:

 

Struggling to make a haircut appointment or pay for the movie ticket that your pals have been wanting for months!! Google Duplex can assist you with all of these and much more because its AI assistant will be available to you around the clock. Not only me or you, but other businesses may experience difficulties managing reservations and phone calls.  

 

Also Read | Different Examples of Artificial Intelligence


 

Conclusion: 

 

Maps aren't simply for getting around. Other applications for GPS include

 

GPS wearables, such as GPS watches, can be used to monitor the whereabouts of children, pets, and the elderly. In movies, GPS-controlled drones are utilized to film birds-eye-view images. GPS is frequently utilized for location scouting in the film industry. Geocaching can be used to create scavenger hunts by hiding items in specific locations and then putting maps online for others to find using GPS devices.

 

Thus, google maps are your go-to friend whenever you are lost. 

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