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How does Google Map Track Real Time Traffic

An average human spends nearly 42 hours in a Traffic in a year. Getting a Google Map Traffic update before hitting the road is not a big deal for you but have you ever wondered how Google tracks live traffic.  But how exactly do they know? Is it creepy? Are we taking it for granted? Here’s how Google is mining travel data to help perfect their maps application, and what else you might stand to gain from Google mapping traffic.

How does it work?

Google Map Traffic

         Google Map gets its traffic data from number of sources I have listed some of them
  1. According to Google, All smartphones that have Google maps open and location services turned on send small bits of data to Google servers. This allows google to analyze how fast the car is moving. Thanks to the Google’s Intelligent algorithm it excludes vehicles like Postal vans as they take frequent stops this may alter the traffic
  2. Google also takes data from Telecom companies these telcos monitor user location data by a  method called Trilateration, in which the distance of a user measured between two or three surrounding telecom towers is used to analyze the speed and location of the user.
  3. Google Maps also gets data from an app called Waze which was bought by Google in 2013. Waze gets its information from users who report things like accidents on the road or traffic jams. Google also gets information from local departments of transportation.


Moore said that Google’s database of historical traffic data allows the app to alert you if traffic is better or worse than it typically is, and how accidents and slowdowns will affect traffic on different roads in different parts of the world.

The minds behind the working of Google Traffic are ZipDash, a traffic analysis company that Google bought in 2004. Google added zip dash’s technology to Google Maps and started providing live traffic updates.


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