Tech Updates - October 12, 2014

What are Google Maps Live Traffic & how it work?

Google Map with its new feature can now display Live Traffic information. Not only it displays traffic information but also gives an accurate forecast of future traffic on a particular road/route. It’s known as Google Map Live and presently it is available for some popular cities around the world. 

How Google Maps Live works?

According to the official Google Blog, Google Maps gathers traffic data from users who use Google Maps for Mobile with GPS enabled on their phone. The raw data is then combined together and send back to the users for free. This awesome feature is known as “Crowdsourcing”. Apart from using this feature, Google Maps also collate data from multiple sources like the transportation department, private third parties and etc.

Google Maps Live

How accurate is Google Maps Live?

Traffic information on Google Maps is updated every minute. But, the actual accuracy depends on number of users using Google Map for mobile. If the numbers of user are less for it to create minimum threshold accuracy then it will not display any traffic data. So in general the more the users are the more accurate is Google Map Live.  

Which cities are covered?

Google Maps live Traffic is available across 1000s cities worldwide. In USA this service is available in more than 70 cities, UK and Europe is also covered. In Asia it is available in China, India, Thailand and Japan. To know whether your city is covered or not, you can visit this link – link on Google Maps.

What is Anonymous location collection from Smartphone?

If you are a Smartphone user, who uses Google Maps quiet frequently, then you should be aware that your phone is sending anonymous bit of data back to Google. The data collected from Smartphone does not require GPS activations. This data is then compared with thousands of other data, collected from different Smartphone users in and around your location to provide accurate traffic information. The more the data the more accurate information is provided.

Is it safe for Google to know my location?

 Yes, it is. As per Google the data collected is protected with privacy. The data is first made anonymous before it is fed to the server. If, from any particular location Google gets large amount of data, then it combines all the data together, making it hard to distinguish the source.

To know how Google maps help your business then read the post How can google maps help your business?.

Google also allows user to opt-out from this service. If any user wants to opt-out from this service, Google will instantly stop collecting data from that user.  For more information on how to opt-out? Please visit this link –here.

In the end I would like to add that Google Maps Live Traffic service is a friendly add on service, to take us out of the misery, which we face when we are stuck in the traffic. Not only it is helping us to reach our destination, but also providing us useful information about traffic. I hope this post is helpful and informative. If in case I have missed out on anything related to this topic then please leave your valuable comment.