How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything

There’s a shockingly huge amount of manual labour involved in making Google Maps work, especially the navigation aspect. The Atlantic goes behind the scenes. On a related note, the Google Now feature on Android 4.1 which automatically informs you how soon you need to leave for the next appointment based on existing traffic conditions, is worth it’s weight in gold.

“Now imagine doing this for every tile on Google’s map in the United States and 30 other countries over the last four years. Every roundabout perfectly circular, every intersection with the correct logic. Every new development. Every one-way street. This is a task of a nearly unimaginable scale. This is not something you can put together with a few dozen smart engineers … I came away convinced that the geographic data Google has assembled is not likely to be matched by any other company. The secret to this success isn’t, as you might expect, Google’s facility with data, but rather its willingness to commit humans to combining and cleaning data about the physical world. Google’s map offerings build in the human intelligence on the front end, and that’s what allows its computers to tell you the best route from San Francisco to Boston.”

How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s