In 2008 Google began a mapping project called ‘Ground Truth‘ which, they hoped, would revolutionise online mapping and, ultimately, help build better maps for us to use. As of 2012, more than 1 billion people use Google maps so it was very nice when, only ten days ago, they released updated maps for 10 countries and regions in Europe: Andorra, Bulgaria, Estonia, Gibraltar, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. These areas were of course mapped before, but the quality has now improved significantly. The total number of countries mapped using Ground Truth is now at 40 (see infographic below) and the volume of data captured is staggering.
To find out more, you should definitely check out this entry on the official Google blog. Amongst the updates, you’ll find 70km more of a particular Bulgarian highway, better detail in and around the Museo del Prado and Parque del Retiro in Madrid, and more fine-grained mapping in Bratislava.
One thing that hasn’t changed (yet) is the appearance of a large airliner over Russell Square in London!