Google is continuing to expands its Maps feature with a “weather” layer. This layer lets you see the precise weather for a region directly on top of the Google Maps image.
The Google Maps Weather Layer
The weather feature has been added through the “layers” feature, which already housed extras like transit stops, bicycle routes, local terrain, user-posted images, Wikipedia entries, and more. All layers are displayed on top of the standard map, and multiple layers can be selected at once.
Here’s a quick video showcasing the new weather layer:
As outlined by the video, you can enable the weather layer for any region globally and get current local temperatures. You can then click on a given temperature to receive a detailed report, including a five-day forecast, humidity, and wind speed. That data is provided by Weather.com.
That’s not the only partner on board, however. As outlined in the Official Google Blog entry that announced the data, the Naval Research Lab is also making it possible to check cloud cover and Google is also letting you know whether it’s day or night in any given region at the time of your search.
Maps Pushing into Travel Features
Google Maps is an intuitive tool for many travelers trying to find their way around, especially if those travelers happen to be using an Android smartphone. However, when it comes to specifically “away from home” data, Bing Maps offers some of its strongest competition. In addition to having a weather application of its own, Bing Maps also lets users find local attractions and events, travel webcams, local art, and more.
Google adding weather is just one way that it’s matching Bing’s efforts on this front. That’s likely to be bad news for Bing, as travel has been one of their most important niches since launch.
Additionally, we can expect Google to implement many more travel features in the near to mid future; Google has purchased several travel-oriented companies (the most prominent being ITA), and we have yet to see a strong implementation of the purchased technology.