Google Maps might soon introduce a potentially life-saving feature.
Image: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Google may be working on a cool feature that’ll make your walking commute a bit safer: A new “lighting” layer in Google Maps that highlights brightly lit streets when traveling on foot.
This is according to XDA Developers, whose experts dug up lines of code in Google Maps beta that indicate such a feature is coming. From the information contained there, it appears that Google Maps will highlight well-lit streets with a yellow color.
The feature doesn’t appear to be live yet, and there’s no word on when that might happen.
Still, it’s one of those small but potentially life-saving features that makes Maps such a great product. If you’re making your way through a city at night, navigating via Google Maps, you’ll certainly appreciate not being sent into a dark, dangerous-looking alley or even main roads without adequate streetlights.
There’s no official word on where Google might launch the feature first, and it’s also unclear how Google plans to collect street lighting data and keep it updated.
Google has been steadily updating Maps with new features since…well, forever, but the recent couple of months have been especially fruitful. In October, the company added an Incognito mode for Maps, and later that month, it added extra detailed spoken directions to help blind people navigate. In Nov., Google Maps also got a translation feature to make it easier to read an address to someone in a foreign country.
Exactly how this new “lighting” feature will impact people’s experiences travelling through locations while using Maps remains to be seen. It’s not always lighting that makes a situation more dangerous than not, but every little tip helps.