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Google Maps update adds more colorful images and sidewalk info

Satellite imagery will let you distinguish deserts and forests at a glance in the updated Google Maps. Plus, more detailed street views complete with sidewalk info will launch shortly.


In addition to helping you find your way, the latest Google Maps update will help you know more details about any given area at a glance. Starting this week, Google will shade maps with colors based on satellite imagery so you can easily tell the difference between forests and beaches. The update will be available worldwide and will cover a variety of natural and manmade features. 

While the refined color palette is meant to help you understand regional features, a future update will offer more detail on a much smaller scale. Google says it will roll out more granular info on streets so you can see their exact size at scale in addition to the locations of sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian islands. 

The more detailed street images will start rolling out in London, New York and San Francisco in the coming months. 


Google Maps will show the location of important features like crosswalks. 


Google announced both changes in a blog post on Tuesday, but didn't offer a timeline on a broader rollout of the more granular view. 

The color mapping update will supposedly not just be for large landscape features either. Google will use computer imagery to show more coloration on areas such as cities, suburbs and rural towns.