10 Things You Didn’t Know About How Google Map Works

10 Things You Didn’t Know About How Google Map Works

10 Things You Didn’t Know About How Google Map Works

In the busy schedule of life, everyone wants to reach their destination at the right time so that they won’t miss any scene.

So they start to analyse like “when to start the journey, which is the shortest route have to take, what is the condition of the route, what type of traffic are found on that route” etc. why this so many analysis because to reach the destination before/at the time.

Now this work became even easier with the revolution in the internet field. The internet Giant Google has brought many platforms to give people the easiest life. Google map is one of those, which has been rolling over the internet for almost a decade.

In day to day life, most of us use it (Google Map) to find the location of a place and the way to it. But most of us don’t know, how Google map works?  Maybe it is the most unasked question at present time.

Who wants to know? Everyone just wants to reach their destination. If you are curious enough to know how Google map works actually, then you are at right place.

In this article, I’m going to discuss the methods based upon which Google map works and shows you the real-time traffic updates.

So, that you can get enough data against your query.

What is the Google Map?

Before starting about how Google map works, first clear about what is Google map?

Google map is a web mapping service developed by Google. Which provides satellite imagery, street map,360° panoramic view, real-time traffic condition and also offers you transport mode like bicycle, car, bike, foot or by public transport.

Google map works over more than 200 countries. It gets 25 million updates daily from over 1000 sources with 1 billion active users every month.

Why is Google Map there?

Now Google map works both Indoor and outdoor environments and provides everything started from street map to businesses, shops, and offices names.

It also provides a complete data about an unknown or unfamiliar place to a visitor.

The data it provides about a place is enough for a normal human being.

But the question is why is it doing so?

Because when Sergey Brin and Larry Page was founded the organization in 1998, they had a vision.

The vision was to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” for every people.

And Google map is a part of the vision. Not only Google map there are also many goods available from the Giant. Which is working for people?

With the same Ideology that was created at the beginning of the organization.

How does Google collect data for Google map?

The most mysterious thing is how Google collects a huge amount of data for Google map?

There are many sources from which Google collects data for Google map.

Let’s have a look what are they.

From Your Device

Google collects data from your mobile. As the location history is on by default, so no one notice about it.

So Google gets all location updates whenever your device location is on.

Google saved all the location history with the Google account you have logged in.

To see your location history in your smartphone open Google map > settings > Personal content > location settings.

You can see your location history is on /off. And also can check your location on map timeline, year, month & date wise.

Map Partners

As Google is a private organization, so it is quite difficult to collect all the geographical data for Google map.

So, it partners with the most extensive and official data source through the Base map partner program.

Which collect information from a number of agencies such as USDA Forest Service, the US National Park Service, the US Geological Survey, various city and county councils, and so on.

Google uses the data altogether with comprehensive digital images and up-to-date the base map as possible for us.

By shows the changing boundaries, waterways, new bike path and with other things it help us.


google map satellite snap

Private companies and third-party organizations are also playing a great role in Google map.

These companies specialize in sending out cameras on satellite. Such as Tele Atlas Google’s major image provider.

Using the different satellite images, it stitches all together to give a perfect view.

The satellite view available on Google map is formed by the collaboration with Google Earth.

Since the images come from the different satellite with different equipment, so sometime the resolution may vary.

Google updates these images with Street view and base map data, resulting you can get the geological changes, new and altered building and the picture of the whole world in a single application.

Street View

street view snap og google map

Street View is the technology which captures the panoramic images of many streets in the world.

Because only picturing the roads, highways, and buildings are not enough.

So Google started using the round-the-clock vehicle to patrol each and every street, neighborhood and residential complex.

This program was launched in 2007 in several cities in the United States and after expanded to many cities and rural areas of different countries.

The Idea is to run cars, motorboats, snowmobiles, and other various vehicles through every road and lane of the street and taking 360° images.

Implementation of Artificial intelligence recognize any sign caught by the camera and send them to Google servers.

With the help of which Google not only analyse the lane map but also addresses the local businesses.

Then updates these images on the base of Google map by GPS coordinates. Which is result in Google Street view.

Google has a huge database so that if a road’s name has changed since the last time it was photographed. A most recent street view photo will detect it and update it to the base of Google map.

Google’s outdoor navigation is awesome but Google won’t stop here. In March 2011, Indoor maps were added to Google map.

Which allow users to navigate themselves within buildings such as Airport, museums, shopping malls, universities and even in metros.

Google encourages owners of public facilities to submit the floor plan of the building.

So that user can get enough idea where they want to go. That’s how Google map works indoor and outdoor.

Location Services

To keep the map up-to-date, Google uses the location data in your smartphone to show the real-time traffic updates and the traffic speed and pinpointing road diversions.

If a busy route suddenly changed into no traffic then the map can assume that there is a diversion and adjust direction accordingly.

google mao algorithm flow

Google also analyse this data to figure out the time duration when a business will be busy.

But how Google do it? How Google map works so efficiently? It does keep tacking the traffic on individual buildings.

It may be shocking for us but an innovative track to bring the offline information online.

Google Map makers

Google map makers is a very interesting initiative by Google was launched in June 2008.

Which allow anyone to share their local knowledge top Google map to increase the map quality.

But users are not aware of how Google map works also include their precious efforts.

The user can edit Google’s map with their personal contribution. You can able to add, edit places, new roads, building outline, and hiking trails.

When you sharing information about a place or business or roads make sure they are correct.

Because whatever you add on it will reflect the whole world. Your update will be reviewed and then appear on the map.

With this Google map makers service, there is the massive base of people who can up-to-date the Google map 24×7.

This is very useful for remote areas which are out of Google’s reach and awareness.

Local Guides

As there is a massive army of editors on Map. Google also has millions of so-called local guides.

With the feature of local guides, Google adds more personal data to its base map.

When you are using Google map, go to my contributions and you can search for different places in your area.

By leaving a review, adding an answer to a few questions, uploading a few photos related to that place. You can contribute an additional layer of information.

What makes interesting? When you add knowledge/data on a map, it helps map to understand things like the atmosphere of a Cafe, whether a hotel has parking or not. Whether a restaurant is vegetarian or non-vegetarian.

For this little contribution, the user can get a reward like increased storage on Google drive.

How Google Operate Google map

As you see from the above from which sources and how much amount of data Google collects daily is astonishing.

Here we only discuss one platform of Google, there are many like it.

But on what algorithm how Google map works is extremely complex and secretive.

For example, when street view scans the images of the road sign and business names, the algorithm may try to make sense of the road network by analyzing the road signs.

And to figure out the shortest routes between two point A and B, the location data may be taken into your google account.

Practically, it doesn’t show you the shortest route to a point but shows the best route depending upon various factor like traffic condition, the transport mode you use and the length of the route.

Google consistently improving the algorithm to give the accurate information to users and combine with Google map makers.

If in case Google algorithm doesn’t understand the data provided by map maker, so a team member will manually look over it and set things correct.

Without any doubt you I can say that this is a huge task to operate. That’s why Google has teams around the world to keep things up-to-date.

When there is an Error on Google map

Every day there are numbers of things adding to Google map. Regarding renaming of roads, shortcuts, the addition of new places etc. While some other suggestions on fixing mistakes.

These reports filled by the public. Many of them are fixed by member public also. Like editing place information, adding roads and so on.

Despite that Google has a large team of people working through to fix these issues filled with Google every day.

Actions are taken quickly. Reports are reviewed and acted on manually. A little bit help taken from Atlas, Google’s own map editing program.

New roots are drawn by hand, routes are connected and new buildings mapped out etc.

If you think little deep about how Google map works? You will find that it is a never-ending project.

Because of thousands of roads being built every day and cities changing traffic rules according to them.

So it is a huge challenge for Google map to stay accurate and up-to-date every time.

How Google map shows “Real-time traffic Updates”

Along with how Google map works, the second most mysterious puzzle which people seek to know about is “real-time traffic updates”.

People are always wondering how Google shows the real-time traffic updates.

So, the answer is here.

The answer lies in your mobile. You may not know it is a very important tool for Google than for you.

As I told in above your location history is always on by default, so it keeps tape your location history. Which then stored in Google servers to give you directions and other services.

Let’s take an example for better understanding. Suppose 1000 people used to take a route every day and all of a sudden it changes down to zero.

Now Google’s algorithm analyzes the alteration and suggest you not to take that path and will suggest you another path.

So, if you travel through a path, Google will use your data like the distance you covered, the time you have taken, speed etc. to show the real-time traffic updates to others.

In the earlier time, Google map fetch data from the traffic sensors. Most of which was set up by Government transportation agencies that are specialized to collect traffic data.

By using Rader these sensors are able to detect the speed and size of passing vehicles and continuously transfer data to a server.

These collected data were used to provide real-time traffic updates.

But the sensors are used only on highways and primary roads. So with the limited amount of data, it is difficult to predict the traffic of the whole city.

So Google did some amazing, at the beginning of 2009 is introduced to crowd-sourcing to improve the real-time traffic predictions.

What is Crowd-Souring? And How Google use it.

Soliciting electronic information from a large group of people is called as crowd-sourcing.

Which is used to improve the accuracy and quality of the map.

When you open the Google map and turn on GPS location in your phone, it sends bits of data secretly to Google.

By which the company knows what the speed of your vehicle is.

Google continuously fetch data that are coming from all the vehicles on the road and send it back by the ways to show the colored line on the traffic layer.

Where the green colour represents the normal speed of traffic, the orange color for the slow traffic and the red colour shows for heavy traffic.

And If more driver uses the app, the traffic prediction become more authentic.

Because it becomes easy for Google to look at the average speed of cars traveling along the same route.

In the year 2013, with the collaboration with Waze, Google added a human element to its traffic calculation.

So that the drivers use the Waze app to report about road accidents, disabled vehicles, speed tape, traffic jam etc. into the app.

These real-time updates appear on Google map based upon their position on the route. With small icons representing things like construction signs, crashed cars or speed cameras.

By which your navigation experience becomes more accurate and that’s how Google map works.

Google is more concern about your privacy. It stated that the speed and location information it collects to predict the traffic condition is kept secret.

Google also mark the start and end points of every journey it traces and deletes the data permanently.

So that the information about every user from where they came and went to remain privet.


Everything is now at your fingertips. Want to go to a place but don’t know, which is the shortest route? What time it takes to reach that place?

Don’t worry Google map is here. With the shortest route and how long it will take to reach your destination, it provides more than enough information to you.

With the vast information that it collects from various sources as I described above, is able to create a strong bond with its users. That’s how Google map works. With the addition of an extra amount of data, it becomes more reliable. It has made our life easier and simpler.

Despite a huge platform, it allows the public to contribute their knowledge through Google map makers.

It also has a huge team around the world where it works to check the errors manually.

Most interestingly the real-time traffic updates which everyone wants to know along with how google map works, is work upon crowd-sourcing.

Google map is one of the most useful app developed by the Giant Google. With over billions of active users, it has now collected enough data to predict the kind of traffic to users want to Know.

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A professional content writer and a tech-savvy guy. He loves to explain stuff in a simple way, no matter what and how complicated it is.

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