Google and Kia Motors announce deal to bring Google Maps & Places to new vehicles

Kia-UVO-GoogleMaps

Kia Motors is working with Google to bring Google Maps and Google Places integration to new vehicles via an updated version of its UVO eServices telematics system. Kia said in a press release today that it would work with Google to integrate Maps and Services for “driving directions and locate Points of Interest (POIs) in a seamless and organic manner.” The new integration will land in the 2014 Sorento CUV and go on sale in the first half of this year, but it will presumably hit all-new vehicles that utilize Kia’s built-in UVO eServices. Kia will also provide Maps and Places features from its UVO smartphone app:

Available with the 2014 Sorento CUV, the new Google-powered UVO system will serve Kia owners whether they are in their cars or away from them. Enabled by the Send2Car feature, Kia owners can send a POI or destination to their car directly from the Google Maps via their SmartphoneUVO app. From within the car, Kia owners will benefit from Google Places, which will provide POI and destination resources such as a dealership location, and Google Maps, which will provide directions to virtually anywhere and everywhere a car can travel. Read more

Google Maps adds Street View imagery for 150 university campuses, expands turn-by-turn, biking directions, & Map Maker globally

Today on the Official Google Blog, VP of Google Maps and Earth Brian McClendon announced Google is expanding Google Maps to new locations across the globe with the addition of new turn-by-turn navigation with traffic condition data, biking directions, as well as StreetView and Map Maker imagery. The first big addition goes to a number of towns across indian cities such as Bangalore and Delhi:

First, we’re expanding Google Maps Navigation (Beta) with voice guided, turn-by-turn directions in thousands of towns across India. Navigation is one of the most frequently requested features in this region and can be especially helpful when driving in densely populated cities like Delhi or Bangalore. We’re also adding live traffic conditions for major roads with estimated travel times to help you save time and to reduce stress on the road.

New Zealanders are also getting new access within Google Maps with the roll out of both Map Maker and Biking directions in the region. However, perhaps the biggest update today comes with new Street View imagery being released this afternoon for over 150 new university campuses around the world. Google noted a few of the more recognizable additions including UCLA and Royce Hall at the University of California in the U.S, Sophia University in Japan, Pembroke College in the U.K, and McGill University in Quebec.
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Google rolls out new panoramic Street View imagery of Brazil and pre-hispanic Mexican cities

Google announced today on the Lat Long Blog that it added even more Street View imagery to Google Maps; this time for Brazil and pre-hispanic Mexican cities. While there was already Street View imagery available for the locations, the latest additions include panoramic imagery for 70+ cities throughout Brazil including “colonial cities like Fortaleza, architecturally compelling cities like Brasilia and coastal landmarks like Recife, Natal and Salvador.”

You can even virtually travel to the west side of Brazil and visit Foz de Iguaçu, or if you’re planning an upcoming trip, preview the the area around your hotel as well as nearby shopping malls, historic monuments, restaurants and more. With so many upcoming events, like the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, we’re excited to share the riches of Brazil’s cities not only with tourists from around the world, but also with locals who might want to visit a city, neighborhood or landmark they’ve not yet experienced.

Also included in today’s update is 30 Mesoamerican archaeological areas in Mexico, including the 1,100-year-old Kukulkan’s Temple pyramid, and other sites such as Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, and Tulum.

Google Maps for Android update adds over 1M public transit schedules, revamped UI [Photos]

Google — Left: Mobile map with all modes of public transit shown; Right: Transit Lines layer in Subway mode

Google Maps now offers schedules for over 1 million public transportation stops in nearly 500 cities worldwide, while its Android counterpart updated today to make the abundance of new transit data more convenient.

Christopher Van Der Westhuizen, a Google Maps software engineer, announced version 6.10 of the Google Maps for Android app on the Official Google Blog:

We’ve made some changes to the Transit Lines layer, so that you can select a specific mode of public transportation (train, bus, tram or subway) to display on the mobile map, hiding the other modes. This is helpful in areas where there is a tight concentration of several types of public transit.

Google offers a list of supported cities at its Transit page.

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Google celebrates Landsat’s 40th birthday, makes available timelapse videos of the Earth’s surface

Google just took to its official Lat Long blog to wish Landsat a “Happy 40th Birthday” and make its surface imagery live for the entire world to enjoy.

The revered satellite program essentially collects continuous images of the Earth to help smart folks, like scientists and researchers, make knowledgeable decisions on the economy and environment. Google Earth Engine has made Landsat’s data available to such experts anywhere in the world, but now it wants to give the public access.

Googler Eric Nguyen explained:

  • We’re working with the USGS and Carnegie Mellon University, to make parts of this enormous collection of imagery available to the public in timelapse videos of the Earth’s surface. With them you can travel through time, from 1999-2011, to see the transformation of our planet. Whether it’s deforestation in the Amazon, urban growth in Las Vegas or the difference in snow coverage between the seasons.
  • [...] In 2008, the USGS opened access to the entire Landsat archive for free. Google Earth Engine makes it possible for this data to be accessed and used by scientists and others no matter where they are in the world.

A highlighted timelapse video is below:

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