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Google Maps Now Provides Aerial Views of Nearly 100 World Landmarks

The app's new set of upgrades includes 3D aerial shots, new biking routes and location notifications.

Google Maps GPS app
Google Maps is receiving several upgrades, including 3D aerial views of landmarks and new cycling routes.
Sarah Tew/CNET

As part of its immersive view experience, Google Maps unveiled aerial views of nearly 100 global landmarks, the company announced Wednesday. Through the new photorealistic images, you can explore famous monuments in cities across the world such as Barcelona, London, New York and Tokyo. This Maps update gives you a chance to check out Big Ben, Alcatraz Island, the Empire State Building and more when planning a trip or to satisfy your curiosity. 

According to a blog post from Maps' director of product, Amanda Leicht Moore, aerial views are the "first step" in the immersive view launch, which was originally announced at the Google I/O event in May. To see if aerial images are available for a particular site, open the Maps app, search for the landmark and scroll to the Photos section. The feature is being compared to Apple Maps' Flyover, which allows you to tour a city or landmark in 3D, with VR effects. Google Maps' aerial views are available to iOS and Android users globally. 

Maps is also revamping its bicycle routes and location-sharing feature. Cyclists will be able to look up bike routes and check for increased vehicle traffic, steep hills or staircases. Riders can compare routes for multiple road types to better prepare for their trip. The new navigation upgrade will roll out in the coming weeks for hundreds of cities.

Additionally, if you use location sharing, the Maps app now provides notifications that alert you when your friend or relative arrives at their destination. The person must already be sharing their location with you, and you can add an address to track their whereabouts as they come or go. This feature is available for Android and iOS users.