Google Inc. is set to take on the world with its new digital mapping technologies that will incorporate several new features to help significantly ramp its existing Google Maps application.
The internet and software titan on Wednesday showcased a plethora of navigation features at a news conference in San Francisco, California. Google's new move comes rolling at a time when Apple is reportedly set to drop Google's Maps application from its iOS devices and instead adopt its own navigation versions.
In addition to the aerial and street-level and satellite images the application presently provides, Google touted sophisticated 3D technologies that notably enhanced images captured on Google Earth. Other features include offline access to maps from over 100 countries via Android-based smartphones and an upgrade for Google's "street view" feature which offers panoramic views.
The 3D imagery was created from 45 degree aerial shots of landscapes taken from planes flying high or mid-air. Using the new technology, the photos were then rendered into 3D life like models. By 2013, Google anticipates the technology to roll out to 300 million people across metropolitan cities. Currently, around a billion users visit Google Maps on a monthly basis.
"We are trying to create magic here,'' Google Earth product manager Peter Birch said. "We are trying to create the illusion that you are flying over the city, almost as if you are in your own personal helicopter,'' he added.
As of now, the California-based company is reportedly battling Apple on the platform front, a matter that Google hasn't acknowledged as yet. "I can't really speculate on what the rumours may be... Apple is a good partner of ours," Birch said according to the BBC.
Google's fallout with Apple reportedly began in 2007, when the former launched its flagship Android OS. Since then, several patent suits have been filed against the 14-year-old company which was accused of stealing several new features of the Android software from the iPhone.
Meanwhile, here's a preview of the upgraded version of Google Maps that due to roll out in several weeks time.