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The Adventure Crafts Glassmart in Kibera, Kenya, has the address: Stall No. 164, Makina Stalls, Kibera Drive, Located close to the Toi Market. There is no traditional address system in Kibera, so no easy number-and-street identifier. Nothing easy to plug into your phone. So, say you wanted to visit the shop: How would you go about finding it?

Last April we released a new system to help provide an address for every location in the world, called Open Location Code (OLC, also known as “plus codes”). Today, plus codes are now searchable on Google and Google Maps. Plus codes are a useful way of representing locations that don’t have specific street addresses. But it’s not just in less developed places like Kibera.  For example, an area the size of a few beach blankets on Atlantic Beach would have the plus code 87G8H7P8+FH. If you’re hoping to tell some friends where to meet you on the beach -- and they are near Atlantic Beach or looking up the specific location in Google Maps while zooming in over it -- you can give them just the last four digits “P8+FH” to help them find you. You can find the plus code for your location at http://plus.codes.
Using plus codes to locate friends at the beach is one example, but these codes become extremely helpful in places with high population density but poor data accuracy or coverage, or those that lack a specific addressing system altogether. Kathmandu, Nepal, has a population of around 1 million people, but most roads have no names and houses have no street numbers. Being able to precisely navigate without local knowledge is difficult. Plus codes will now let you easily specify your destination.
7MV7P8R9+W2, or P8R9+W2 if you or your viewport are already in Kathmandu.

These codes can help many different people, in many parts of the world: Small businesses rely on customers being able to find them. Crisis response organizations rely on accurate location information--often long distances from established roads and buildings--to provide aid and save lives.  
As we continue to make Maps as accurate and comprehensive as possible, we hope plus codes become a useful way to pinpoint the places that might be harder to find -- whether you’re looking for your friends’ beach towels, or some glassware in Kenya.

Rasťo Šrámek, Software Engineer, Google Maps

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With more than 250 sunny days a year (that’s about 100 more than you’d get in bright Portland), Mongolia is known by many as the "land of the eternal blue sky.” Now you can take in some of these beautiful Mongolian blues with new Street View imagery, which takes you across 5,000km of the country’s steppes, deserts, icy lakes and rushing rivers.

Last fall we strapped a Street View camera onto a four-wheel drive pickup truck to begin capturing 360-imagery from rugged Mongolian roads. Since then we’ve also gone off-road to capture images of the country’s most beautiful places with Ariuntuul, our Mongolian Trekker operator, who carried the 18-kg Street View Trekker into the wild expanses of Mongolia’s diverse countryside.

Say hi or “Сайн байна уу” to our Mongolian Trekker operator, Ari

Take a tour of the placid frozen blues of Khuvsgul Lake, onto the Eastern Highway for a look at Mongolia’s winter sunshine, over rainbows painted across the Selenga River, across the vast and clouded horizon over the Gobi desert, and even towards the gers on the outskirts of the rapidly growing capital city, Ulaanbaatar.

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Sled across the Khuvsgul Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in Asia, with Street View

Experience the winter sunset from Mongolia’s Eastern Highway

Spot the rainbow over the shadow of our Street View truck near Selenga River

Sand, sky and clouds as far as you can see near Tsogt-Ovoo

A glimpse at the round rooftops of Ulaanbaatar

Although adventurers will spend weeks exploring the hidden treasures of Mongolia, you can now join us on a whirlwind tour in just a few clicks. Until then…have a nice journey, on Street View and beyond!

Posted by Cynthia Wei, Street View Program Manager, Google Maps

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Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been -- whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help. We’re gradually rolling out Your Timeline, a useful way to remember and view the places you’ve been on a given day, month or year. Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time. And if you use Google Photos, we’ll show the photos you took when viewing a specific day, to help resurface your memories.

side_menu_timeline.png 2015-07-15 13_47_42.gif

Your Timeline is private and visible only to you; and you control the locations you choose to keep. This means you can easily delete a day or your full history at any time. You can edit any place that appears in Your Timeline, including removing a specific location or giving a frequented spot a private name like -- Mom’s House or My Favorite Running Spot. This spot will then appear right in Google Maps when you’re logged in.


Available on desktop and Android, you can access Your Timeline if you’ve opted-in to store your Location History with Google. If you have this setting enabled, you may already be familiar with the useful experiences it can offer across our products, such as providing Now notifications when there are traffic incidents along your commute or reminding you where you parked your car.  With Your Timeline, you have even more ways to view and control your location data. And with last month’s launch of My Account, you can easily access and manage your Location History setting and all your Google settings in one place.

We hope you find Your Timeline a valuable and helpful tool as you explore the world around you.

Posted by Gerard Sanz, Product Manager

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Two years ago, we started the Trekker Loan Program, where we invite partners to help us gather Street View imagery of many breathtaking places around the world. Since then, we've added imagery from a vast variety of locations -- from natural wonders right in organizations backyards to hard-to-reach sites we would never have been able to access by ourselves.

Now with a tap of your finger or the click of your mouse, you can hike through the glorious mountainside in Spain with Generalitat de Catalunya, walk the pilgrimage route of Kumano Kodo in Japan with the Mie Kumano-kodo Society of Commerce and Industry, explore the Canadian Arctic with Polar Bears International, and even venture with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau across dried volcanic lava.  


If you like to take the road less travelled, we’ve got just the thing for you. Thanks to our partner Visit Greenland, you can visit the viking ruins and ice fjords in Greenland, or go with Blue Ventures on a journey to Madagascar, the world’s oldest island, chock full of unique views and vegetation. And for those of you looking for an extra thrill, journey to the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil to soar down a zipline with our partners, the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation.



Seeing the hundreds of stunning sites collected by our partners makes it hard not to envy all the amazing locations they’re lucky enough to call home. Check out the jaw-dropping beauty of Colorado National Monument taken by Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau, the impressive view of the cityscape from Sydney Harbor National Park courtesy of New South Wales National Parks & Wildlife Service, and the meandering waters of England’s Bradford-on-Avon Wharf collected by our friends at the Canal & River Trust.


To see more highlights from our 200 Trekker Loan Partners to date, see all the collections in our Street View Gallery, including those for U.S. Highlights, the Dolomites, Kyoto by the Sea, Ticino Switzerland, remote islands and many more. The world awaits your exploration!

And if you’re a nonprofit, tourism board, government agency, university or other entity interested in borrowing our camera equipment to share your favorite places with the world, apply now to be the next Trekker.

Posted by Deanna Yick, Street View Program Manager

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What better place to venture this summer than sunny California? Starting today, you’ll be able to explore hundreds of new locations across the Golden State with Street View in Google Maps. So whether you’re sipping cabernet sauvignon in Napa, dipping in the Pacific Ocean, or hiking through the redwoods, you’ll get a peek of what awaits you along Route 101.

California boasts more than three thousand wineries across the state, and is known for its varietals ranging from buttery chardonnays to big-time zins. Aspiring sommeliers, wine enthusiasts or just those who love a good view can now take a virtual tour of wineries across the state. Enjoy the sunny elegance and wonderful scenery at wineries like William Hill and Wolff Vineyards (we recommend you grab a glass while you browse). Explore the drums where wine is aged at Quintessa Winery before enjoying the open air patios that overlook the green hillsides of northern California.


Nature lovers and camping enthusiasts alike can travel the winding trails through Big Basin Redwoods State Park and Portola Redwoods State Park, and gaze at glorious trees that rise hundreds of feet overhead. Meanwhile, the vistas at Angel Island State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park and Glen Canyon Park may leave you breathless.


Surf’s up! The Pacific Ocean may be chilly in person, but it sure looks warm under the Street View sun at Silver Strand State Beach. Looking out at the wide, expansive coastline at Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach, the clouds seem to sit right on the California horizon.


You can see conservation of these amazing landscapes happening right before your eyes by visiting several nature preserves, guided by Trekker loan partner, The Nature Conservancy of California (TNC). See Kammerer Ranch Preserve, where TNC is studying blue oak trees in a protected watershed, or Gonzales Farm Preserve, where you can go back in time to watch plants grow in an effort to build a wildlife corridor. Or jump over to Santa Cruz Island Preserve, in the Channel Islands, where TNC is mapping bishop pines to understand why the trees are dying and what they can do about it, all in the effort to preserve California’s diversity and beauty for generations to come.


With Google’s headquarters nestled alongside the San Francisco Bay in Mountain View, Calif., this imagery of our great state is especially close to our hearts. We hope it inspires you to take a trip out and explore the west coast!

Posted by Deanna Yick, Street View Program Manager