How AI and imagery build a self-updating map

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So what’s next? Our algorithms analyze the business hours of other nearby lemonade shops, information from Liam’s website, and Street View images of Liam’s storefront that look specifically for business hour signs to determine the most accurate business hour prediction. At the same time, we enlist the help of the Google Maps community — including Local Guides and even the business owners themselves through their Google Business Profile — to verify the information we predicted. In Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and the United States, we also use Duplex conversational technology to call businesses just like Liam’s and ask for their hours directly. With this new AI-first approach, we’re on track to update the hours for over 20 million businesses around the globe in the next six months – helping you know exactly when your favorite store, restaurant or cafe is open for business .

Road information that reflects the real world

We’re also experimenting with ways we can use imagery to make updates to other helpful information. For instance, starting in the U.S., we’re launching a third-party imagery pilot to let you see the most up-to-date speed limit information in your town, which can help keep you safe while driving. Here’s how it works:

Say our systems think that the speed limit information on a particular highway needs to be updated. With the help of third-party imagery partners that already gather roadway imagery to improve delivery routes, we can request a photo of the specific stretch of road that also includes a speed limit sign. If the partner has this photo available, we then use a combination of AI and help from our operations team to identify the sign in the image, extract the new speed limit information, and update Google Maps.

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