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The essay should involve an exploration, exposition, and demonstration of the emerging technology you have chosen to discuss. You must provide the history, background, technical capabilities and restrictions, theory and principles, functionality, examples (code fragments) and figures/screenshots, possible applications, future vision and expectations, references, and a demo Java program.

The demo program does not have to be complex, but must clearly demonstrate the important functionality of the technology. Trivial “hello world” type programs do not meet this criteria and will not be marked

History of Google Maps

In the year 1765, James Rennell, a 23-year-old British naval officer embarked on a journey to explore the entire Indian subcontinent. Accompanied by some other soldiers, they carried some advanced tools of the time which could enable them to explore the region fully, a distance-measuring tool known as perambulator and a compass. Their mission took six years and which saw the rest of his colleagues killed by wild animals. He, however, survived to see his detailed mapping of the subcontinent published late1780s defining the British understanding of the Indian subcontinent for generations. This depicts the reality during those ancient times as far as exploration was concerned (Mansoor, 2016). The risks were uncountable considering the fact that people were moving to completely unfamiliar places. More than two centuries later, when people wish to explore new places across the entire world now, it has become as simple as a click on a small application installed on smartphones and can spins around the entire globe with the ability to identify the smallest features within certain areas like roads, rocks, buildings, forests and even recreational facilities. The dream has now come true and exploration simplified, all courtesy of google maps.  

A Google Map is a web-based mapping service which was developed by the Google company. The service had been developed with an aim of offering satellite imagery, panoramic street views, street maps, real-time traffic data and route planning services for people travelling by bicycles, cars and air (Kuperstein et al, 2015). Google maps were first launched in Where2Technologies Company as a C++ desktop program but the company was acquired later by Google in 2004 and converted into a web application.  After some other acquisitions of geospatial data visualization companies as well as real-time traffic analyzers, Google Map was launched officially in 2005 by the Google Company. The front end view of this service utilizes XML, JavaScript and Ajax (Moshfeghi, 2016). A Google Map has an API that allows maps to be entrenched on third-party websites and locators for urban centres and organizations in different countries around the world. Initially, users were allowed to collaboratively update and expand mapping services worldwide but the permission was withheld in 2017 after it was observed that false features were being added to a suite and benefit some people illegally (Fernández et al, 2018). Crowdsourced contributions on Google Maps have not been discontinued however following the announcement by the Google Company that those features will be transferred to Google Local Guide program.

Technical Capabilities of Google Maps

                     (Wagner, 2015)

The popularity of Google maps has come with a number of benefits to the people and the main advantage has been found in showing direction. In the ancient times, travelling or visiting unfamiliar places was highly terrible and hectic because of many calls and stop-overs to ask for direction which were involved (Geva-Sagiv, Las, Yovel & Ulanovsky, 2015). It was even more challenging wherever someone was making a visit to places which were interior because it could take miles before meeting people to ask for directions and a lot of time could be wasted as well as resources in case a person was using a car. In addition to time and resource wastage, it endangered the lives of people because sometimes they could end up in wild animals dwelling places (Wang, Zhong, Song & Cai, 2016). This has been depicted in the case of James Rennell, a 23-year-old British naval officer who had embarked on his journey to explore the entire Indian subcontinent accompanied by some other soldiers in a mission took six years and which saw the rest of his colleagues killed by wild animals. Through google maps, such difficulties and misfortunes have become history and now what is required is just connectivity to internet and can get to know the directions to the place of destination including the choices on the shortest routes to get you there and the estimated time as an added advantage (Shashua, Gdalyahu, Springer, REISMAN & Braunstein, 2018).

                                        (Carter, Denoue & Perttula, 2017)

function initMap() {var pointA = new google.maps.LatLng(51.7519, -1.2578),pointB = new google.maps.LatLng(50.8429, -0.1313),myOptions = {zoom: 7,center: pointA },map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById('map-canvas'), myOptions),// Instantiate a directions service.

directionsService = new google.maps.DirectionsService,

directionsDisplay = new google.maps.DirectionsRenderer({

map: map}),markerA = new google.maps.Marker({position: pointA,title: "point A", label: "A",map: map}),markerB = new google.maps.Marker({position: pointB,title: "point B",label: "B",map: map});// get route from A to B  calculateAndDisplayRoute(directionsService, directionsDisplay, pointA, pointB);

}function calculateAndDisplayRoute(directionsService, directionsDisplay, pointA, pointB) {directionsService.route({origin: pointA,destination: pointB,

travelMode: google.maps.TravelMode.DRIVING}, function(response, status) {

if (status == google.maps.DirectionsStatus.OK) {

directionsDisplay.setDirections(response);} else {

 window.alert('Directions request failed due to ' + status);}})}initMap();

Initially, inconveniences, when people were travelling or visiting new places, were the order of the day and could make some people miss on opportunities like job interviews as well as flights because of lack of a better way to make in regard to distances and time required (Toth & Vigo, 2014). With google maps in place, however, this has been turned into a thing of past because of the provisional ability of this service to give people both the distance and the estimated time to get into their destinations from their point of departure.  This is achieved through a mere click on a particular point and that allows the person to know just how far the destination is from the departure as well as the estimated time to get there (Hara et al, 2015). This has greatly helped people plan their travels and organize their schedules to meet their expectations.

Possible Applications of Google Maps

In some instances, people could find themselves in places they are not familiar with. Initially, such instances were terrifying especially if they could not find a person around to inquire about the places and how to get their way out. Sometimes this risked people proceeding to dangerous places like game parks and game reserves where they could be attacked and killed by wild animals (Brown, Zhou & Chow, 2018). This has however turned to be a thing of history because of the new technology integrated into our handheld devices like smartphones. Under such circumstances, it only entails keying in the nearest place and the google map displays all the connections to the place hence making it easier for the victim to figure the way out of where he or she is stuck (Toth & Vigo, 2014).

Google maps have also appeared as a solution to traffic jams although has not fully managed to contain the problem fully. Previously, it was not a surprise to find some roads entirely under traffic while others without vehicles because there was no way a driver leaving major cities could identify the road without heavy jam to avoid using it and use a different route. This saw major roads always on heavy jams while there were empty supplement roads which could be used as alternatives (Doshi, Jain & Shakwala, 2014). However, with the emergence of the new technology in google maps, drivers have been able to identify the roads and places with heavy traffic jams and those with an easy flow just by a click of a button hence enabling them to make a choice on the route to follow. This has helped balance the traffic jam in the major streets and roads from major cities hence saving a lot of time as well as avoiding the major incidences of accidents which were rampant some few years ago (Zhou  & Hoetmer, 2018).

Google map technology has also revolutionized the sector of research in a greater way. This is in consideration to resource wastage which had to be incurred by the sector before achieving the objectives. For instance, a research institution that wished to carry out investigate some of the uncommon phenomena could move from place to place through guesswork until they found what they aimed at investigating (Berrazeg et al, 2018). This could consume a lot of time as well as resources but the emergence of google map technology has made things much easier. Google maps have been bombarded with lots of information found in different parts of the globe which can be utilized by researchers to locate accurately the places where their research would be more suitable (Jakobson & Rueben, 2015). This saves on both time and financial resources because there is no guesswork at all compared to how the case was before the launch of this great technology.

Future Expectations of Google Maps

Just like other major advancements in technology, Google maps have also contributed in promoting business organization by enabling a way through which potential customers can trace the location easily (Henni, Abraham & Vilret, 2017). Previously, it was tiresome for potential customers to locate business premises especially in major towns and this could make some of them give up and decide to purchase products in the nearest shops possible. This was an opportunity cost to business organizations because they could lose many customers just because of the unfamiliarity on their operation premises. With the emergence of google map technology, however, things have become better and loyalty of customers to business organizations improved because potential customers can locate their organizations of choice just by searching their names (Al Waili et al, 2018).

Google Map has proved to be the best navigation app from Google because, through it, people have been able to search different unfamiliar destinations and can navigate the same easily. Since its invention, life has been made easier in different ways like in the field of research, public road transport, business activities and others. However, despite the above mentioned advantages of Google Map, the service has a number of downsides too.

One of the main issues with the service regards the display of irrelevant content. in most of the times, the result images displayed after searching show inappropriate contents like unclear street signs which may mislead drivers (Vandeviver, 2014). Also, when looking for a certain location, it may display blurred building images due to privacy issues which makes it hard for the person searching to find the exact locations.

Sometimes the service lacks the ability to give infinite accuracy when searching for places. For instance, a person who is searching for a particular place in a Google Map whose road has been blocked will not be notified that the road has been blocked only to realize that when he or she approaches the place. On its own, this weakness of the google map leads to wastage of time and resources as well because the victim will have travelled or trekked up to that place and will have to take his or her way back (Voorheis, 2015).

Because of the amount of data the service deals with, it has proved to be extremely slow when it comes to loading speed. Considering the fact that people have been created to be impatient, this calls for continuous update and search for an alternative by the company to make sure that the loading speed of this application is optimized so that it can serve the users as expected (Bellino, 2015). Also, its continuous improvement is expected as the technology changes in order to keep it compatible with the emerging new devices.  

Real-time Traffic Data and Route Planning Services

Google is expected to add an augmented reality feature to the google maps in future. During the Google Input/output keynote before the start of developers’ conference, it demonstrated the ability to use AR to enable google map users to navigate around major cities and towns by foot (Burney, Asif, Abbas & Burney, 2017). In the demonstration, it used a combination of the cameras, Street View as well as visual location technology to accurately locate where a person is so that when he or she holds his or her phone, he can effectively observe the directions floating ahead. Virtual guides will also be expected in future as far as the incorporation of AR is concerned so that a phone with google map knows exactly the way a person is facing by visually scanning the surroundings and putting together many reference points with those in the database (Wang, Hamann, Spittlehouse, & Carroll, 2016).

It is also expected that google lens will be integrated with camera applications in future. This will make things easier especially when a person wants to learn about things which are totally unfamiliar. For instance, through this improvement Android Phones will be able to read words when the phone is held up to them (Branson et al, 2018). That means people will be in a position to get explanations of the food on a menu, for example.


Al Waili, Y. S. A., Hussain, S. M., Yusof, K. M., Hussain, S. A., Asuncion, R., & Frank, A. (2018). IOT based Parking System using Android and Google Maps. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, 13(20), 14689-14697.

Berrazeg, M., Diene, S. M., Medjahed, L., Parola, P., Drissi, M., Raoult, D., & Rolain, J. M. (2014). New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase around the world: an eReview using Google Maps. Eurosurveillance, 19(20), 20809.

Burney, A., Asif, M., Abbas, Z., & Burney, S. (2017). Google Maps Security Concerns. Journal of Computer and Communications, 6(01), 275.

Branson, S., Wegner, J. D., Hall, D., Lang, N., Schindler, K., & Perona, P. (2018). From Google Maps to a fine-grained catalogue of street trees. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 135, 13-30.

Brown, J., Zhou, Z. Q., & Chow, Y. W. (2018, January). Metamorphic Testing of Navigation Software: A Pilot Study with Google Maps. In Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

Bellino, A. (2015, May). Two new gestures to zoom: enhancing online maps services. In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 167-170). ACM.

Carter, S., Denoue, L., & Perttula, A. (2017). U.S. Patent No. 9,683,853. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Doshi, P., Jain, P., & Shakwala, A. (2014). Location-based services and integration of google maps in android. International Journal Of Engineering And Computer Science, 3(03).

Fernández, C., Muñoz-Bulnes, J., Fernández-Llorca, D., Parra, I., García-Daza, I., Izquierdo, R., & Sotelo, M. Á. (2018). High-Level Interpretation of Urban Road Maps Fusing Deep Learning-Based Pixelwise Scene Segmentation and Digital Navigation Maps. Journal of Advanced Transportation, 2018.

Geva-Sagiv, M., Las, L., Yovel, Y., & Ulanovsky, N. (2015). Spatial cognition in bats and rats: from sensory acquisition to multiscale maps and navigation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(2), 94.

Henni, S., Abraham, P., & Vilret, R. (2017). Regarding “Google Maps offers a new way to evaluate claudication”. Journal of vascular surgery, 66(4), 1309-1310.

Hara, K., Azenkot, S., Campbell, M., Bennett, C. L., Le, V., Pannella, S., ... & Froehlich, J. E. (2015). Improving public transit accessibility for blind riders by crowdsourcing bus stop landmark locations with google street view: An extended analysis. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS), 6(2), 5.

Jakobson, G., & Rueben, S. (2015). U.S. Patent Application No. 13/987,075.

Kuperstein, I., Bonnet, E., Nguyen, H. A., Cohen, D., Viara, E., Grieco, L., ... & Dutreix, M. (2015). Atlas of Cancer Signalling Network: a systems biology resource for integrative analysis of cancer data with Google Maps. Oncogenesis, 4(7), e160.

Moshfeghi, M. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,360,337. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mansoor, S. (2016). U.S. Patent Application No. 14/939,328.

Shashua, A., Gdalyahu, Y., Springer, O., REISMAN, A., & Braunstein, D. (2018). U.S. Patent Application No. 10/082,798.

Toth, P., & Vigo, D. (Eds.). (2014). Vehicle routing: problems, methods, and applications. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Vandeviver, C. (2014). Applying google maps and google street view in criminological research. Crime Science, 3(1), 13.

Voorheis, J. (2015). time: A Stata tool for calculating travel time and distance using MapQuest web services. Stata Journal, 15(3), 845-853.

Wang, T., Hamann, A., Spittlehouse, D., & Carroll, C. (2016). Locally downscaled and spatially customizable climate data for historical and future periods for North America. PLoS One, 11(6), e0156720.

Wang, S., Zhong, E., Li, K., Song, G., & Cai, W. (2016). A Novel Dynamic Physical Storage Model for Vehicle Navigation Maps. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 5(4), 53.

Wagner, J. (2015). Top 10 mapping APIs: google maps, Microsoft bing maps and mapquest.

Zhou, B., & Hoetmer, K. R. (2018). U.S. Patent Application No. 15/509,812.

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