Google MapsSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google Maps is working on a way to show which streets are brightly lit at night.
  • The feature was discovered by XDA-Developers during a recent APK teardown of the Google Maps 10.31.0 beta app.
  • There is no indication of when the feature may launch or if it will be region-specific when it does.

Google Maps is, without a doubt, the most popular app for finding your way around this big wide world. Through the years, it has grown from a simple navigation tool to an app that can also recommend restaurants, prevent you from getting speeding tickets, or even keep you safe when taking a taxi.

Now, thanks to the guys over at XDA-Developers, we're learning Google is working on another way to keep you safe when using Google Maps. According to a recent APK teardown, Google Maps is prepping a new "Lighting" layer to show what streets are brightly lit at nighttime.

<string name="LAYER_SAFETY">Lighting</string>
<string name="SAFETY_LAYER_ONBOARDING_DIALOG_BODY">Yellow lines show streets with good lighting</string>
<string name="SAFETY_LAYER_ONBOARDING_DIALOG_NO_LIGHTING_INDICATOR">No lighting info available</string>
<string name="SAFETY_LAYER_ONBOARDING_DIALOG_POOR_LIT_INDICATOR">Poor to no lighting</string>
<string name="SAFETY_LAYER_ONBOARDING_DIALOG_TITLE">See how brightly lit the streets are</string>
<string name="SAFETY_LAYER_TOOLTIP_PROMO">New! See how brightly lit the streets are</string>
<string name="SAFETY_LAYER_UNAVAILABLE">"Lighting view isn't available at this zoom or in this region"</string>
<string name="SAFETY_LAYER_ZOOM_IN_SNACKBAR">Zoom in more to see lighting data.</string>

The strings for the new layer were first spotted in the Google Maps v10.31.0 beta app, and reveal quite a bit about the new feature. For example, it will be able to show you which streets have good lighting, poor to no lighting, or if there is no lighting info available. There is even an indication that it will be able to show you just how brightly lit streets are.

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Unfortunately, we don't have any screenshots of the new Lighting layer in action. We also don't know when it will launch, or if it will be region-specific. Regardless of where it launches, it will be a welcomed addition to the all-in-one navigation app. Traveling to new areas can be nerve-wracking enough, let alone trying to do it in the dark.

Knowing which streets are well lit will go a long way to making us feel safer, as well as making it easier to get around in general. Hopefully, Google is able to roll this out to as many countries as possible.

Google Maps: Everything you need to know!