Google Introduces New 3D Features For Google Earth

In a today’s press conference, Google introduced “the next dimensions” of its Google Maps. The presentation included a lot of history of the Google Maps, Earth and Street View and a peek at what is expected. The announcements are particularly important given the rumors that Apple is going to replace Google Maps with its own maps application in iOS.

The first big announcement concerned the 3D view of buildings in Google Earth. The Verge said:

“To make the images, Google uses planes to take images at 45-degrees from four different angles — flying them in a tightly-controlled pattern with plenty of overlap. Google builds the 3D model off of these many images, using algorithms to create the shape and color of buildings. The process is "fully automated," building the 3D images without any human interactions. The system is intelligent enough to know when a certain image is blocked or shadowed, for example”.

Google also hopes to combine vector data and 2D mapping with the 3D images to offer users vertical location information sometimes in the future.

In addition to the new technologies in Google Earth that will appear in the iOS version of the service in the coming weeks, Google also unveiled new features for Street View and offline work with Google Maps on Android.

VP of Engineering for Google Maps Brian McClendon said that Google was committed to offering its services across all platforms. So it seems likely that the company will release a standalone Google Maps app for iOS even if Apple opt to implement its own mapping service, much like the company does for its Google Earth app.

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Written by maxim

Thursday, June 7, 2012. 10:29

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