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April 17, 2008

Google Maps Predicts Traffic Conditions

Google Maps can now predict traffic information for any day of the week and time of the day, based on past conditions. By default, if you click on the Traffic button in a supported area from the US, Google Maps shows real-time traffic information. "Comprehensive traffic data is available in over 30 major US metropolitan areas (including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and others), with partial coverage available in many more," according to Google Maps help center. There's also a traffic layer in Google Earth and Google Maps Mobile, but these applications don't include yet traffic prediction.

{ Thanks, Michael. }


  1. They also didn't show incident information (i.e. the icons with information about lane closures, etc.) for the Chicago area before today. So for Chicagoans (I don't know if any other cities just got this too), this is a double improvement. (Though both Yahoo and Live Maps have shown incidents for a long time now)

  2. NY State has used GMAP to produce:

  3. More GPS! Gooogle Penetrating System!

  4. Nice Blake! Hope you have that Trademarked in some form

  5. How do I get the traffic button to minimize so I can see the UP

  6. how does google maps real time traffic work?

    Now, I already know google collects their data from an amalgamation of sources, such as various city-maintained cameras that report to databases on the real time road conditions in their area.

    What I want to know are the specifics. This is what most people DON'T know and don't know how to find out either. Here are my questions:

    -Whats the *exact* name of the API call google uses to retrieve that data, and what parameters do they pass? Can you supply a real-world working example of such an API call?
    -What kind of technology do the cameras use - radar, infrared, motion sensors etcetera? How is the device powered?
    -Can you supply a link to a web page where I can buy such a camera or speed monitoring device?
    -What are the typical intervals bewteen cameras on a highway? 1/4 a mile? half a mile? two miles? Do you know how often these devices have to be serviced?
    -Can you tell drivers how to spot and identify speed-monitoring cameras on the highway?
    -Does google have to pay various sums of money to access this traffic information?


    1. Forget cameras, anytime you or one of your thousands of neighbors turns on their map while in the car, google collects information about actual traffic conditions. I've been on desolate roads in the middle of the night and literally watched the green line follow me down the road in g-maps.

  7. I'd say, for the Washington, DC area, that Google Maps/Traffic is correct, maybe, 50% of the time; at least for the areas I drive. That's good considering it was about 30% accurate not that long ago. I was also glad to see that secondary road traffic is now being included. (I'd love to see that 'predictive' feature included in the mobile version.

  8. I've turned on my GPS and google navigate and waited for the green line to litterally follow me down the road, and it doesnt !

    Which is why I was hoping someone could explain how google updates its traffic layer ?

  9. Where did it go? The UI has changed, and that feature is gone! I hate how often Google removes features!!


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