Google today announced that it is bringing 3D maps for entire metropolitan areas to mobile devices.
An important next step in improving all of these areas-comprehensiveness, accuracy and usability of our maps-is the ability to model the world in 3D. Since 2006, we’ve had textured 3D buildings in Google Earth, and today we are excited to announce that we will begin adding 3D models to entire metropolitan areas to Google Earth on mobile devices. This is possible thanks to a combination of our new imagery rendering techniques and computer vision that let us automatically create 3D cityscapes, complete with buildings, terrain and even landscaping, from 45-degree aerial imagery. By the end of the year we aim to have 3D coverage for metropolitan areas with a combined population of 300 million people.
Apple is widely expected to drop use of Google Maps for iOS and announce its open mapping service with 3D at WWDC 2012.