Google Maps adds new-and-improved level of street detail for Prague

The exact details of intersections and traffic islands will be of use to people with baby carriages and wheelchair users.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 21.02.2022 12:02:00 (updated on 21.02.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Google Maps has just become much more detailed for Prague. It is part of a global improvement of the online maps, but so far Prague is the only city in the Czech Republic to have the enhancement.

“The service will show users where sidewalks, crossings, and islands for pedestrians are, as well as the exact shape and width of individual roads. This information can help plan the most suitable route, especially for people with prams or wheelchairs. Google Maps uses artificial intelligence for this display,” Google said in a press release.

The width of paths in parks will be shown more accurately, and more importantly, the presence of stairs is better marked.

To see the details, though, the user needs to zoom in closely on the exact area. In a wide view, most of the details are hidden as they are too small to show.

The higher level of detail was first launched in January 2021 in maps for London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo, and has been expanding since then.

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Live View is also now available for pedestrians in the Czech Republic for easier navigation. It allows you to find the right path in the streets through augmented reality. This service works on Android and Apple mobile phones and tablets.

“The mobile phone's camera places arrows, turn signals, and distance indicators in the real space the user is in, making it easier to navigate and choose the right direction. This proves to be especially useful when people leave, for example, a public transport station and are hesitant which way to go,” Google said.

To put it simply, your phone shows you the path right in front of you through the camera lens but has added symbols on the screen to show you where to head to next. Instructions for using Live View can be found in Google support. Live View is in addition to the standard 2D view showing the walking route outlined on a map.

People walking while looking at phones has been a source of accidents. Google urges people use the service safely. “We recommend that you use Live View only when needed most, such as when you start your journey, you reach a turn, or you're about to reach your destination,” Google said.

Google Maps isn’t the only online option for navigating Prague. There are also Mapy.cz and phone app Windy Maps from Seznam. While they don’t offer details like traffic islands, they do show the color codes for street parking zones, which Google lacks. They also have a function similar to Google’s street view, which lets you visually explore the city at street level. Mapy.cz and Google Maps also show the best public transit options, in addition to driving and walking. Google Maps since 2019 includes info on whether public transit vehicles are full or not.

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