Google filling in 25 million brand-new building footprints in Maps

Google logo over maps
Orient yourself

Google rolled out an initiative to fill in the blanks on its Maps app, one that should help even the most directionally challenged navigate where they need to go.

The move will see 25 million new building footprints join the service on both desktop and mobile for major metropolitan areas across the U.S.

Those regions include Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and the San Francisco Bay Area.

"This expansion is part of our ongoing effort to provide you with maps that are as comprehensive as possible," the announcement on the Google Lat Long blog said.

Fill 'em in

Buildings, the blog said, provide helpful orientation as local landmarks, and Google's even included height detail in the structure outlines.

The new footprints are "algorithmically created by taking aerial imagery and using computer vision techniques to render building shapes."

Google Maps building footprints

Before building footprints (left) and after (right)

Users can contribute to areas they are familiar with through the Google Map Maker, insuring building footprints are accurate and up-to-date, the post said.

Google has also offered the option of assigning "your favorite local business to an existing building" or by drawing the footprint for that business via the Map Maker.

Even if the change seems relatively minor, it still puts Google's maps service leagues above Apple's dismal, though improving, native maps outing.

Via Google Lat Long

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.