10 European countries just got a huge update in Google Maps with much more detailed data in Andorra, Bulgaria, Estonia, Gibraltar, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.This new data is part of Google's Ground Truth program, a way of using several data sources to arrive at the most accurate map possible.
Ground Truth uses algorithms as well as people when necessary to weed out inconsistencies in the various map data Google acquires.
It blends its own data, from satellite imagery, aerial imagery or Street View photos, with maps it acquires from government agencies or private companies to correct any errors, such as a road placed several meters away from where it actually is.
There are many other examples like this. The end result is a map more accurate than any of the ones used to create it, it really is more than the sum of its parts.
As for the latest updates, Google boasts that it's got the most accurate and most up to date data for those locations.
"For example, this update adds a new 70-km section of Bulgaria’s Trakiya motorway, which opened recently to drivers but hasn’t been reflected on most maps of the region until now," Google wrote.
"But roads and highways alone don’t define the character of a place, and they aren’t always sufficient to help you get around," Google added.
"So Google Maps also integrates information such as walking paths, ferry lines, building outlines, park boundaries, university campuses and more—providing a richer, more comprehensive and more realistic experience for locals, visitors and armchair travelers alike," it said.
As of now, Google has "processed" the data for 40 countries with its Ground Truth program. You can expect it to roll out to more places, now that these have been covered, through a map is never actually complete, things change all the time.