Early this morning (12:01 PT) and yesterday, Google announced a number of new features to its mapping features, including 3D Google Earth on mobile platforms. It’s jumping ahead of expected mapping announcements from Apple at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).
On its Google Earth blog early this morning PT, Google announced extensions to the system for global use. Yesterday, it announced 3D enhancements to its Google Earth map for mobile. Check it out, above.
On its post regarding its new Street View Trekker, Google reps write:
It’s a pretty limited search engine that only draws from a subset of sources. In the same way, it’s not much of a map that leaves you stranded the moment you step off the highway or visit a new country. Over the last few years we’ve been building a comprehensive base map of the entire globe—based on public and commercial data, imagery from every level (satellite, aerial and street level) and the collective knowledge of our millions of users.
Today, we’re taking another step forward with our Street View Trekker. You’ve seen our cars, trikes, snowmobiles and trolleys—but wheels only get you so far. There’s a whole wilderness out there that is only accessible by foot. Trekker solves that problem by enabling us to photograph beautiful places such as the Grand Canyon so anyone can explore them. All the equipment fits in this one backpack, and we’ve already taken it out on the slopes.
What’s your take on the Google map push? We’ll be following these developments at Google — and of course cover the WWDC as it unfolds.
This is a huge deal Gina! Sure, we don’t know what Apple is going to drop at WWDC and we know that they will. The rumors have been swirling about them dropping Google Maps and any sane developer wouldn’t be doing that unless they already had the answer in hand. However, let’s look at the Google announcement outside of mobile platforms for a second.
Google not only is making their Globe more powerful they also took it off the grid. They added options to allow you to download maps and use them on your devices even when you are not connected. (This is huge for people who live in rural locations or for people in disaster situations where internet may not be widely available.) They also are laying the 3D over their existing products which are sold to Federal, State, and local governments as their primary GIS solution which is used for disaster response, recovery, and mitigation. (Google actually has been doubling down on this recently: http://www.google.org/crisisresponse/)
So, unless Apple is going to announce they are going “All in” on GIS solutions for everyone…I really don’t care what they talk about is available on my iPhone. Google has been building a GIS platform, not just a mobile map.
Your Move Apple.