Google maps airports, train and subway stations with Street View update

The images mark Google's first efforts to map global transit hubs

Google is taking its cameras indoors in an effort to map international transit hubs, starting with 16 airports and more than 50 train and subway stations.

The new panoramic images are part of the company's Street View feature within Google Maps and Google Earth. It's not the average update though, because you'd be hard-pressed to find actual streets. In its announcement, Google described the expansion as the company's first efforts to map global transit locations.

Apparently Google wants people to use its services not just to see their destination -- or gaze in longing at places deemed out of reach -- but also to help them get there.

The Street View update might come in handy for travelers who need help finding their way around an airport, the company suggested. "Don't let travel logistics get you down this holiday season," Google said.

A handful of the new images are of transportation hubs in the U.S., though more are scattered throughout Europe and Asia. There are several airports in Spain and at least half a dozen train stations throughout Italy, judging by an interactive map of the new locations, and also a range of hubs in the U.K. and Japan. Users can see panoramic images of the Tokyo International Airport, Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands -- oddly, that's the only transport hub in the country Google mapped for this project, passing on more widely used Schiphol -- the Madrid-Barajas Airport and Waterloo Station in London.

The Internet company also got hyper-local with the project: The inside of some Emirates planes at the Dubai Airport were also photographed.

Google may only be looking at transit hubs, but moving more of its Street View images indoors could give the company a stronger foothold in an emerging industry. Indoor mapping is considered the holy grail of location technologies right now. Apple recently purchased indoor mapping startup WiFiSlam to make progress there, and Nokia is also looking indoors with its Here business unit.

In retail specifically, there is a burgeoning industry of hardware makers, data analysis companies and software developers trying to map stores, to help consumers shop and serve hyper-targeted promotional deals.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleMapsinternetsearch engines

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?