Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) just unveiled 3D Maps for iOS and Android. The company made the official announcement on Wednesday regarding their future plans for the mobile maps application.
The list of improvements includes three-dimensional Google Earth maps, offline mapping for smartphones, and street view maps for hiking trails. The company has been incorporating automated technologies that take data from aerial models captured from their company-owned airplanes. Since the planes fly in tightly controlled patterns, they can take pictures then utilize those images with data to create 3D maps.
During the announcement on Wednesday, Google also showed demonstrations of 3D models of different buildings and large cities. The most interesting thing about these demonstrations is that they were shown on the Apple iPad rather than an Android tablet.
Google is hoping by the year’s end that they’ll have important communities of 300 million people mapped in their new space.
The company also plans to create an offline version of maps for Android operating systems, hopefully with high-resolution navigation. In order for this feature to work, users would have to download a map of the particular location prior to disconnecting the internet.
Google isn’t the only company that’s launching a 3D map application. It’s rumored that Apple will soon announce their own 3D maps application for iOS 6 sometime next week during the Worldwide Developers Conference. For the longest time, Apple utilized Google maps for their iOS programs but it looks like they want to cut ties with their biggest competitor.
The search giant has yet to announce when they plan on releasing their 3D maps.
It’s quite interesting to see how simple internet technologies and web applications have evolved over the last few years. These days, there is an app for just about everything under the sun. It should get interesting to see what Apple will introduce during their upcoming conference and it should also be interesting to see their reaction to Google’s versions of 3D maps.