Google just updated its European maps section heavily, loading a fresh batch of detailed data for more obscure countries, and improving on what it had for the big ones, including indoor navigation for Germany
Part of the Ground Truth project, the mapping initiative started in 2008, and aims to give people the most detailed and up-to-date experience possible. Knowing how Google collects data, with a fleet of cars cruising your city's back alleys, this is not far from what Google actually delivers, but the search giant doesn't stop there.
It mixes the data collected by its mapping vehicles with satellite photos, data from local mapping authorities, and even user input, so its algorithms create what is perhaps the most timely and personal navigation of a place possible:
...roads and highways alone don’t define the character of a place, and they aren’t always sufficient to help you get around. So Google Maps also integrates information such as walking paths, ferry lines, building outlines, park boundaries, university campuses and more—providing a richer, more comprehensive and more realistic experience for locals, visitors and armchair travelers alike.
Our new map of Spain, for example, not only shows the famous Museo del Prado and Parque del Retiro in Madrid, but also includes additional building models in surrounding neighborhoods, the well-known “Estanque” (or pond) in the center of the park, and detailed walking paths throughout both the park and the nearby Royal Botanical Gardens.
Spain, Andorra, Bulgaria, Gibraltar, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Slovakia are the new countries added to the Ground Truth project, and Google even bragged in its blog post that it has added all the length of the brand new Trakiya highway section in Bulgaria, for instance, which is so fresh that it is not reflected yet by other services.