Google Maps is starting to see more and more features that used to be the jurisdiction of Google Earth, like the recently added feature of 3D buildings. As easy as it is to take these developments for granted, it’s just amazing what we can take with us in our pockets these days. Before long, Maps might feature something we saw in Google Earth over the last holiday break, 3D “Holiday Trees,” or even 3D trees in your neighborhood. Starting today, a bunch of those 3D gray boxes representing buildings got a lot more realistic for Maps users in the following cities:
Contra Costa County, CA
Long Beach, CA
New Orleans, LA
San Antonio, TX
St Petersburg, FL
Van Nuys, CA
Those cities were just issued fresh 45-degree angle images of buildings, which work in conjunction with 3D models to create a more realistic representation of what’s on the ground. Of course you can use Street View in mobile Maps for images of buildings taken from the ground. Check out the sample images from the Lat Long Blog featuring Norfolk, VA and Tucson, AZ (click the city names to view in Google Maps).
While this feature is packed full of fun and novelty, imagine viewing actual buildings while getting walking directions through a downtown area you’ve never been to before. Now all I need is a live satellite video stream so I can see where my car is parked. I’ll just paint an orange “X” on the roof.