It’s time, once again, for you to check for map updates on our mobile and Windows apps: the latest refresh to our map is being released today.
As previously, the apps only need to grab the changes to your downloaded maps from our servers to update themselves, not the whole country or state, so it shouldn’t take long.
There are additions and fixes in every continent, too many to practically list, so just download with the assurance that your map is fuller and more accurate than ever.
Two special new features do deserve extra consideration, though. They aren’t in every country by any means, yet – as you’ll see, they are quite labour-intensive additions – but they’re here for some and coming to many more of you in the future.
Historically, our maps have been first and foremost about roads. Because for car navigation that’s the most important thing you need to know. But our maps contain many more details, which we show contextually i.e. only when you need them the most.
Lately we’ve been showing the outlines of individual buildings in a growing number of cities – they’re actually already available in 11 countries in Europe and in the USA – with Belgium, Denmark, Italy and The Netherlands now added to the total with this latest release.
These ‘building footprints’, as they’re called, add extra detail to the map and can help you orient yourself more easily, especially when you’re on foot.
Take a look at these ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures to see the difference.
Truer transit in Chicago
Our public transit team is constantly working to make the information shown in our apps match what’s happening on bus routes, train and subway lines all over the world.
We listened to your feedback and now we’re working closer to the source information and the map now shows an improved representation of transit lines. Map making is truly a never ending task and small changes can make big differences. In the case of Chicago, we replaced the automatic algorithm that connects transit stops with each other and we're now representing the 'L' with more geographical accuracy.
Under the surface, our latest maps also contain additional layers of information to describe the attributes of roads and POIs. This information is for autonomous and assisted driving solutions as well as custom enterprise apps. Regular users can’t see it, but there’s a lot more information in there than meets the eye.
How to update
Windows Phone users are probably familiar with the process. Open the settings app on your phone, then tap the applications tab > maps > check for updates. Click on the maps to update and a minute later, you’re done.
On Android, it’s the first time! You'll get a notification from us when it's time to go in and update. Follow the instructions given to update your downloaded maps.
Please note that you need to restart the app in order to see the new changes on the map.