Google Maps updated to show terrain and vegetation features

October 27, 2012
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If you are a regular Google Maps user, you might know that the service offers a distinct Terrain layer, which shows various geographical features such as vegetation (forests), deserts, or mountain ranges.

Now Google (which has been improving the Maps service at a blistering pace lately) has merged the terrain layer into the default view, making it easier for outdoorsy users to find their way around. The improved app now shows terrain, color variations to depict vegetation, and labels for major natural land formations.

The Maps team provided examples of the difference between the old style maps and the improved ones, and some of them are quite striking.

Google Maps before update

Google Maps after update

While this small update might not be of much interest to urban dwellers, I know that fitness fanatics and the outdoors lovers will find it useful.

I’ll leave you with a roundup of all the small updates that Google has been rolling to the Maps in the past 30 days:

Google travels to the Grand Canyon in the name of Street View – October 24

Google Maps gets updated with 25 million building footprints – October 20

Maps Tracks and Geolocation APIs released by Google, indoor maps just waiting to be released – October 18

Google has launched a new version of Zagat for Android – October 12

Google rolls out biggest ever Street View update, 250,000 miles of roads refreshed – October 10

Google Launches More Than A Map website to showcase 800,000 websites that are using Maps API – October  4

Google Maps iOS web app is getting StreetView support soon – October 3

Google Maps upgraded with higher-resolution satellite imagery and 45-degree aerial images – September 29

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