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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Google Maps to include walking directions around campus

Students wandering the maze of McCarty Halls, trapped in an infinite loop of signless walkways, will have a new way to navigate.

Google Maps has introduced a feature that will provide both walking and biking directions to popular spots on campus, complete with 360-degree street view imagery.

An algorithm will determine UF’s most popular locations based on the most searched locations in Google Maps, a Google spokesperson wrote in an email.

At UF, a Google representative pedaled one of the company’s trikes — adult sized tricycles carrying a cluster of 360-degree cameras — along walkways and plazas, snapping pictures of areas Google’s street cars can’t reach. Privacy technology blurred the faces of anybody caught in the lens’ scope, the spokesperson said.

The project comes as part of a broader effort initiated by Google in 2012 to upload street view imagery of university campuses across the world, from Waseda University in Japan to the University of Glasgow in Scotland, to the University of Miami.

Natalie Remond, an 18-year-old UF chemistry freshman, said she would use the new feature to navigate campus.

“I get lost because I can’t tell what the street signs say,” Remond said. “Sometimes the halls don’t show up (on my maps).”


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