Google Map app

Google Maps App Update Helps You Plan for Hills

Filed under: Apps  Technology 

The Google Maps app recently added features that let pedestrians and cyclists see elevation changes along their route — a potential boon for both health nuts and the disabled.

Google Maps is a smartphone-embedded service that tracks satellite imagery, street maps, 360-degree street views, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle, or public transportation.

But the Silicon Valley giant recently added upgrades to its trusted mapping app. You might have noticed the real-time Events section (what’s happening nearby) under the Explore tab. But you might have missed a handy little elevation projection chart in the walking and cycling sections.

The new diagram shows elevation changes and the overall climb and descent for the trip. At a glance, you can get a sense of how much physical effort your chosen route includes.

Elevation and Effort Output in Your Hands

The data itself is not new. Elevation information has been available through the Google Maps website since last year.

But this feature was just released in app form. In the latest Google Maps app update, the elevation info now appears in a quickly digestible chart.

Having in-app data at your fingertips could speed daily workout planning or fitness tracking. It can also assist those with disabilities or people planning a vacation day in an unfamiliar location.

Imagine having the data on Android and iOS as one more way to squeeze a heart-thumping walk into the lunch hour. It could shift a commute route to one that’s easier or harder depending on what you’re training for.

Or in some cases, it might just help you say “no” if you’re not inclined to take that incline. If you don’t have the Google Maps app, get it on your smartphone here.

By
Associate editor Julie Kailus has spent a career covering people, places, and products in the outdoor industry. Julie can be found testing the latest and greatest in her favorite activities — trail running, mountain biking, swimming, snowboarding, and the underrated endurance sport of chasing two sons around the mountains.
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