Photo © 6sqft
Google Maps has just released a couple of upgrades that should make New Yorkers’ commutes a little bit easier, or at least, slightly more predictable. From now on, the app will be able to tell you how crowded your subway, bus, or train might be, so you can decide if you prefer to squeeze in or wait for a vehicle where you’re more likely to snag a seat. The upgrades also expand the app’s live traffic delays for buses (which began rolling out in December 2017) to cities that didn’t already provide those updates.
The NYC set at Paramount, via Google Maps
Not all NYC-based television shows make the city streets their personal set a la “Law & Order” and “Girls.” Perhaps the most notable example is “Friends,” where, although some exterior building shots and panoramic views are of New York, the scenes involving the actual actors are often less than realistic (don’t even get us started on their apartments). Other shows that took place in the city but filmed on a sound stage in LA include “Will & Grace,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Mad Men,” among many other shows and movies.
A couple of Redditors recently posted links to aerial Google Maps views of famous studios’ New York City sets, and it’s pretty interesting to compare the actual city to the Hollywood version.
See more fun aerial views here
One of the holiday windows at Saks, via Google Maps
We’re starting to think Google wants us to never leave our apartments again. Not only can we tour the elite Gramercy Park without a key and explore NYC in 3D, but now we can even check out the department store holiday window displays with Google Maps, welcome news for those of us who want to get in the holiday spirit without battling the crowds.
The Observer reports that the feature is available in London and New York, the latter showcasing those windows at Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s. It’s part of Google Maps’ new Business View feature, which makes it possible to virtually go inside businesses and provides special offerings like a 360-degree tour of the Colbert Report set.
Take a look at this year’s holiday windows
For those of you who remember the quirky Times story featuring a Google team’s attempt to document every inch of Ellis Island, here comes the the payoff. The awe-inspiring world of Google Maps and Google Earth is growing into an even grander time suck with a slew of new city sites rendered in 3-D. Their latest update now lets us explore New York’s landmarks from top to torch to spire, and all the details in between, right from our desktops. Some of the most impressive sites worth a gander include the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center.
- A New Look at Liberty Island: On Wednesday, the New York Times followed a Google team as they documented the island with their 40-pound Google Trekker. You can see fun photos of the jaunt on their site.
- A Bronx Renaissance: Untapped Cities highlights the five most important projects in the pipeline for NYC’s northernmost borough.
- Celebs Love the Lowline: James Ramsey and Dan Barasch are getting more support to turn the abandoned trolly station below Delancey Street into an underground park. According to the Lo-Down, Lena Dunham and Spike Jonze have just signed on to host the Low Line’s annual “anti-gala” in October.
- Lyft Launches Tonight in New York: After hitting more than a few speed bumps in the road, regulators are giving Lyft the green light, but not without concessions. The Verge has more on the deal struck.
A Google Maps trekker, image © Michael Appleton/NYT (left); A branded Lyft vehicle (right)