Google Maps To Receive Better 3D Images, New UI And Offline Maps On iOS And Android


08.06.2012

Google Maps To Receive Better 3D Images, New UI And Offline Maps On iOS And Android

Yesterday, Google unveiled, during an event in San Francisco, a series of improvements that will be brought to the Google Maps service. The most important news for those who use Google maps on their Android smartphones and tablets, is probably, that they can now access the maps in offline mode. Basically when you explore the streets of an “unknown” city, you will be able to access the detailed map of the surroundings even though you don’t have access to a WiFi Hotspot or 3G connection. All you have to do is access My Places when you have access to web and ad the location you are interested in. The map will be saved online, including the zooming options.

After feeling the threat coming from Apple’s new mapping solution, Google announced a major update for Google Earth. The 3D maps will receive new upgrades based on an “automated technology to extract 3D from aerial images.”

In important step in Google Maps evolution is the 3D mapping of the locations. The search engine giant started to add 3D buildings and places in Maps since 2006, but not the officials have announced they will add 3D models for whole metropolitan areas in the mobile version of Google Earth. In order to achieve their goal Google used a an airplane fleet that took areal pictures of the locations from different angles.

To create such high-detailed pictures, Google is using special airplanes that take areal pictures at 45 degrees from 4 different angles, then Google creates the final 3D picture, using special algorithms for building’s shapes and colors. Once more, the process is completely automated, thus the human touch is almost absent.

The pictures in the gallery below are the result of Google’s new technology. Google presented their new Google Maps application on both iOS and Anadroid and it looks great according to the ones who attended to the conference. The new features will arrive soon both for Android and iOS, but we don’t know yet the exact release date. Considering that WWDC 2012 is getting closer and Apple iMaps will debut there, I guess that we will see the new Google Earth by the end of the month. Only a couple of big cities will receive 3D mapping in the first place, but, by the end of the year, most of the big settlements will receive the 3D Google Earth treatment.

The funny Google cars used for mapping various locations on the globe can’t stray away too far from the roads, that’s why the company decided to use a new device to create a virtual tour of the low accessible locations. Called Street View Trekker, the system is compact enough to fit in backpack, allowing its carriers to take it deep into the forests, on ski slopes or in spectacular mountain locations.


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