First cars, now this…
Today, Google announced that it will feature 3D models of entire metropolitan areas on mobile devices in Google Earth. (via Google Earth Gets 3D Maps, New UI on iOS and Android)
Google Maps ‘Next Dimension’ unveiled.
As promised here a few days ago, Google has revealed a new feature for Google Earth - 3D buildings will now start to become available for major cities, with Google aiming to provide ‘3D coverage for metropolitan areas with a combined population of 300 million people’ by the end of this year.
The 3D images will be different to just the 3D models currently available for some major landmarks, with entire 3D city maps now being captured from special flights, as The Verge reports:
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. The company hopes to combine the 2D mapping and vector data with the 3D images to perhaps someday provide vertical location information.
The new feature will slowly roll out across platforms, with iOS looking likely to get it first in the next few weeks - in direct competition to rumours that Apple is about to launch it’s own 3D mapping app which would become the default iOS maps app instead of Google Maps.
Also revealed on the Google Blog is the upcoming availability of offline maps on mobile devices, to allow users to access map data on the subway or out of data coverage. That feature will also be available in the next few weeks.
Microsoft previously announced its Windows Phone Developer Summit early last month, but the company didn’t reveal exactly what it was planning to show. We received an updated invitation today that hints Windows Phone 8 might be on the agenda. “A sneak peek of the future of Windows Phone” is promised in the latest invite for the June 20th event.
Facebook is now able to notify users likely infected with DNSChanger malware and direct them to instructions on how to clean their computer or networks. (via Facebook Assisting Those Infected With DNSChanger)