Google Announces Google 3D Maps Application for iOS

Today at Google’s E3 conference, dubbed “The Next Dimension of Google Maps”, the company has announced that Google Maps will soon be coming to iOS, as widely expected.

Google boasted three new features for Google Maps, including 3D map capabilities for certain areas, an offline mode as well as a new backpark Street View. It will allow users to rotate, move around and basically interact with 3D renderings of major cities. The company explained that it is using automated technology to extract 3D from aerial images captured by planes flying in a tight pattern.

These plans will be equipped with their own, dedicated hardware and will take pictures at a 45-degree angle. Google stated that the 3D maps would cover areas that have a cumulative population of 300 million people. A demonstration of the 3D Maps app for iOS was given on an iPad, which is a bit ironic considering Google is also launching the new app for its own operating system, Android.

Unfortunately, the offline maps mode will not be available with the initial, launch version of the iOS application. Google plans to add the feature in the future. The feature has been anticipated, as its exclusion was a major drawback to using Google Maps – you’ll now be able to download 100 cities of Google’s maps whereas the app would previously consume valuable data to provide updated location markings, etc. The whole download is estimated to be about 500 MB.

Check out the embedded video to see how 3D maps will work on an iPhone:

Apple is expected to unveil their own maps app next week at their WWDC 2012 keynote, which will serve as competition to Google’s new app.

[Via iPhoneHacks]