Google updates its apps so frequently that it seems like it’s happening almost continuously. Of course, they don’t get new features very often, but small patches fix all sorts of bugs and flaws with a bang. And as for real innovations, the company needs a reason to introduce them.
After all, you can’t just release a big update without anyone noticing. You must first publicly announce the planned changes, warm up, so to speak, the ground, and only then be updated. This was the case with Google Maps , which is about to undergo a major transformation.
At the Google I/O conference this week, Google introduced a new immersive mode for Google Maps . In fact, this is the next generation of the panoramic view. But, if panoramas used to be cuts of pictures of the main streets taken from the traffic lane, which made the overall picture two-dimensional, now everything will be completely different.
Google decided to add not only interactivity to Google Maps, but also volume. The company’s engineers processed aerial photographs obtained from satellites, arranged them and got the opportunity, as it were, to look down from the air. Thanks to the immersion view, the user can visually fly over the selected map fragment and see it in three-dimensional format.
3D panoramas in Google Maps
The view of certain objects changes during the day. Therefore, the same attraction will look different during the day and, say, in the evening, just as if you look at it from a different angle. There is also such an opportunity, which is very cool if you want to appreciate the attraction from one side or the other. To achieve this effect, Google had to compose billions of photos, and then also visually twist them with the help of AI .
The immersive look of Google Maps is not only beautiful, but also interactive. Google managed to integrate information about current car traffic into three-dimensional panoramas . Thanks to this, users will be able to monitor the state of roads in real time, looking at them as if from a satellite in ultra-high quality, and, based on this, build their schedule.
But, moreover, the developers of the search giant did not want to stop only on car traffic, although this would be enough. They decided to give Google Maps users the ability to look inside the establishments that are located along the path of their intended route.
Most likely, the situation in cafes and restaurants will not be updated in real time, and users will see only the interior arranged from photographs, but this is better than nothing at all.
Google Maps update
In addition, in this way it will be possible to evaluate dishes. To do this, Google does not even have to photograph the entire menu on its own – there will be enough pictures shared by visitors. Then it will be possible to give them to AI for processing, he will study them from all sides, combine them, finish something and get a three-dimensional model of a particular dish presented in a particular institution.
Immersive mode in Google Maps , frankly, looks more interesting than Apple’s. Cupertino at one time also planned to make their maps three-dimensional, but did not have enough satellite data to add realism to infrastructure objects.
Therefore, it was decided to simply draw them in a near-cartoon format. At Google, everything looks more realistic, and therefore more mature.
The only pity is that, like Apple, the immersive mode in Google Maps will be available in a very limited mode. Not only will it launch only towards the end of this year, but also its coverage will be quite narrow.
It is planned that 3D panoramas will be available only for Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London and Tokyo.
In the future, of course, Google expects to expand the immersive view to more cities, but when this will happen, no one knows yet.