Friday 14 October 2011

Google adds 3D to Maps.

Imagine looking up directions to your favourite restaurant or museum in a city and your destination comes alive in Maps. Google's added 3D support to Street View in Google Maps, so you can look at your destination or really any place you'd look up in 3D without the need of a browser plug-in. The upgrade is called Google MapsGL, which uses Google's Web Graphics Library. Browsers that support MapsGL are Chrome 14+ and Firefox Beta. You will also need compatible video cards.

In addition to 3D capabilities, MapsGL also brings vector maps to the desktop (vector maps are also available for Android). Vector maps provide sharper satellite views and they can also be smoothly rotated. Another feature of vector maps is the ability to take Pegman, the little red guy that shows up on Google Maps and drop him anywhere in the map. Wherever you drop him, you will get Street View of that point seemlessly.

In addition to Maps, Google's Web Graphics Library has also been used for music videos as well as Google's Body Browser. If you're wondering what that second one is, it's Google's navigation system (in the manner of Google Earth) for the human body.

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