Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Map data updates for the United States

As you may have seen on the Lat Long blog today, we've made some significant changes to the map data for the United States. We're excited to bring new features and functionality to Google Maps, including comprehensive parcel data, more detailed natural features like parks and water bodies, and new base map data types like bike paths and university campus maps. These updates have improved our geocoding accuracy as well as our imagery/data alignment, and we'll be making even more improvements going forward.

How does this update impact developers? First, you can use the new "Report a Problem" link on maps to communicate directly with Google about any updates or corrections that you think need to be made to our maps. Second, the data that powers API features like geocoding and driving directions has also been updated. If you're using client-side geocoding in the browser, your applications will automatically start using the new data. If you've been using the HTTP geocoder and caching any retrieved data, you should re-geocode with the new data as soon as possible. With the "Report a Problem" feature, we'll be updating the map data regularly, so we recommend that you continue to refresh any cached data in order to take advantage of corrections from our users.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback about how this change affects your use of the API, you should post to the relevant forum:

We're excited about the changes we're making today! For those of you overlaying data and creating Google Maps applications for the United States, we hope that the underlying base map will continue to evolve, just like the amazing mapping tools that you are maintaining.