In addition to location sharing notifications, Google Maps is getting more detailed cycling route information and nearly 100 aerial views of iconic landmarks.

Google has offered cycling directions for over 12 years now, and the company notes that the transport mode has “increased by more than 40% worldwide” in recent months. 

New information will let you compare bike routes and get high-level summaries like “More bike lanes” or “Less turns.” Google Maps will offer granular details for each leg of the trip, as well as a high-level summary:

  • A “Very steep hills” section offers a graph, while noting the highest and lowest points
  • “Roads” can provide a percentage of marked bike lanes, shared paths, major roads, and minor roads 
  • “Stairs” will also be noted 

You’ll also be able to get a highly detailed breakdown of the route itself so you can know at a glance what type of road you’ll be biking on – like a major road vs. a local street. Gone are the days of unknowingly pedaling up a strenuous hill or on a route with more car traffic than you’re comfortable with.

Google Maps is rolling out this new route information in the coming weeks for the “hundreds of cities where cycling directions are available.”

Meanwhile, Google is currently rolling out photorealistic aerial views of nearly a hundred popular landmarks. This covers sites in Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. Google calls this a precursor to the immersive view it debuted at I/O 2022. What’s launching today lacks the ability to see weather conditions, what a place looks like throughout the day, and how busy a place is, and indoor views are also currently unavailable.

Say you’re planning a trip to New York. With this update, you can get a sense for what the Empire State Building is like up close so you can decide whether or not you want to add it to your trip itinerary. To see an aerial view wherever they’re available, search for a landmark in Google Maps and head to the Photos section.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com