Google unveils its new digital mapping service

Google, on Wednesday, unveiled its new digital mapping service in order to be more convenient and convincing for the users.

Updated: Jun 07, 2012, 13:26 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

San Francisco: Google, on Wednesday, unveiled its new digital mapping service in order to be more convenient and convincing for the users.

In a live event , Google demonstrated 3D models of individual buildings and entire cities. The new features were shown off to members of the press on an Apple iPad, rather than an Android-based tablet.

Besides providing 26 million miles of driving directions, Google`s maps will now include imagery of most of the world`s neighborhoods.

Google also has traversed 5 million miles to take ground-level photos of communities for a feature called Street View. The company has raised privacy concerns by posting photographs that include people in unflattering situations and, at one point, including equipment that vacuumed up personal emails sent over wireless networks that weren`t protected with a password.

Google plans to embellish its maps with even more photos from remote areas, such as hiking trails in the Grand Canyon, in the new equipment showcased on Wednesday. The photos will be taken from specially designed equipment attached to a hiker`s backpack. This gear will supplement photo-snapping bicycles that Google already has been dispatching to areas that can`t be easily accessed by cars.

The company also disclosed that its planes will photograph swaths of major cities to conjure more realistic three-dimensional views of metropolitan landscapes in the Google Earth version of its maps. The photos taken by the planes are automatically converted into 3-D replicas using technology that Google developed for the project.

San Francisco will be one of the first cities to feature the more vivid 3-D imagery. Google didn`t identify other cities on its 3-D list, but said the improvements will span communities with a combined population of about 300 million.

Peter Birch, a Google Earth product manager was quoted saying to a news agency that "We are trying to create magic here”.

"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

The option to download mobile maps for specific cities, so they can be reviewed offline later, initially will only be available on smartphones and tablet computers running on Google`s Android software.

(With Agency inputs)