New Real-time Traffic in Google Maps for USA

Real-time Traffic in Google MapsGoogle released today a very useful new overlay for cities in the US showing real-time traffic information for major roads and highways (via GoogleMapsMania). When traffic is available you will see a “Traffic” choice in the upper right next to “Map | Satellite | Hybrid“. When zoomed out you also see a little traffic signal placemark icon telling you to zoom in to see traffic details. For example, see the San Francisco traffic. A fair number of larger cities have the data, but not all cities. Oh, and the data is also available in the Google Maps Mobile version (so you can see this on your phone).
This traffic data is not available yet in Google Earth. Hopefully, Google will implement a new sub-layer under “Roads” or “Transportation” in the form of a network link which would show this traffic data in 3D inside GE. But, in the past, specialized road data appearing in Google Maps has sometimes taken quite a while to migrate its way to GE. The advantage to doing it in GE is that the layer could be dynamic. You could sit there and watch the status of the traffic situations change as soon as new data is available if a network link is used inside of GE.
[UPDATE 1735: Here’s Google’s announcement of the new traffic feature for Google Maps. They say there are more than 30 cities with the data so far.]

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. i find tihs very interesting in conjunction with gps… imagine your in a vehicle, and your navigtion system is based on google earth. the system then takes the dynamic traffic data and when a certain average speed is not met(the traffic data is speed based) then google earth calculates a different route if the alternate route is faster… awesome app;-)

  2. GoogleEarth also added highres immages for switzerland, looks like the data acquired with Endoxon.

  3. Jason Greb says:

    I already have a navigation system based on Google Earth that takes the NMEA statements and outputs a KML for a network link. Adding traffic data on top of that would be great.
    I however can not do traffic routing. I suppose I could find directions ahead of time, and just follow them, but it won’t talk to me as I drive it.

  4. won’t it be cool when a nefarious ne’er do well learns to hack this and use it to stalk people. Even in the name of BigBrotherism, I am not so sure it’s a good thing. Great for rescuing lost kids and stopping terrorists, not so much for finding people accused of cheating on their taxes or dissenting from the offically correct views…

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