Not content with being outclassed by Apple, Google today sent out invitations to select members of the press. The invite graphics teases “the next dimension of Google Maps”. The search giant’s presser takes place next Wednesday, June 6, at 9:30am, five days ahead of Apple’s worldwide developers conference that kicks off with a keynote in San Francisco’s Moscone West on June 11.

Looks like both tech titans are keen on taking the maps experience to the next level, which can only be a good thing for us consumers and market watchers. But As Apple debuts its own in-house mapping solution, market dynamics will inevitably change due to Apple’s size, brand power and for the simple fact that Cupertino will no longer be paying fees for using Google’s tiles in Mac and iOS applications and services.

Of course, it’s also the question of pride…

The invite reads:

At this invitation-only press gathering, Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps and share our vision.

We’ll also demo some of the newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go – both physically and virtually. We hope to see you there.

Maps is one of core Google features outside search.

Even though a number of mapping services exist, Apple’s reportedly technologically advanced solution combined with their world-class marketing is  bound to grab headlines, at least, if not rub Google’s nose in the dirt by demonstrating its ability to compete, especially when controlling all the technological pieces used in its products.

Apple snagged three mapping-related companies so far: Placebase, Poly9 and C3 Technologies.

Together, the three acquisitions provided Apple with the know-how to innovate in the areas of traffic and social layers (Placebase), three-dimensional rendering (Poly9) and rapid 3D mapping (C3 Technologies).

The results are mind-blowing, as evident in leaked screenshots, such as this one below.

Of course, Google’s technology is likely to be just as good, if not better.

First, they’ve been doing maps for years and have massive computing power to crunch 3D data sets.

If I have to guesstimate, I’d say that this Google Maps revision will combine 3D data from its Earth product with improved tiles, high-resolution street and interior views and Google+ social features.

Throw in some WebGL-enabled magic, and you have a winner on both desktop and mobile devices.

As for Apple, C3 Technologies is of special interest here.

This venture-backed company uses interesting 3D mapping solution based on a declassified missile targeting technology which is based on a spin-off of the Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab AB.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

C3 Technologies also powers three-dimensional Nokia Maps.

We’ll find out everything in just a few days at the Google I/O and WWDC conferences.


Has Apple made a mistake by ditching a Google Maps backend?

Will Apple’s data center be able to support massive data and computing requirements to serve three-dimensional maps to hundreds of millions of customers who use iOS devices?

  • It’s a map, I have no need to see what everything looks like in 3D. If I’m using the maps application, I’ll most likely be in the car where I’ll be looking outside anyway. Y’know, at those three-dimensional buildings…

    • Reyn Yonashiro

      3D maps are helpful for figuring out which of those three-dimensional buildings are which…

      • Anonymous

        Yeah and google does that fine right now. I personally almost NEVER use 3D mode with Sat Images. I use vector map mode 99% of the time. Why? Cause it’s clear and easy to understand the directions.

        With that said, Apple is coming out with some cool new SAT IMG 3D map? Im all for it, why not!

    • They said the same thing about having a phone with a keypad “we don’t need a touch screen” look were we are now. 3D mapping is cool and very useful don’t judge it until you have tried it

      • Don’t worry, I’ve used it and it’s pretty pointless. If you’re that stupid (not you, just people in general) that you can’t use a good old-fashioned map, then you might as well jump off a building and end your life now…

      • No you haven’t used it it’s not even out. Try it before judging

  • Apple data center is 500,000sqft and is being doubled to 1,000,000sqft, I think they can handle it

  • why do we need the 3D maps on our mobile phones, if you need to go from A to B the 2D map is enough, however transform data will be larger on 3D maps, that means more waste for power, more waste for memory, and those services aren’t available everywhere.

    • Anonymous

      Why have Google Earth or Street View then?

      • to find directions and to go from A to B, and a map in 2D is enough I think, you can use it if you like, I hope it’s supported wherever you go, and the mobile network service does support the speed and the amount of data on that place…

    • Jovani Hernandez

      Why do you need a Phone to be and iPhone or an s2. Can’t it be a regular phone, this is what apple does the best, it makes you want something you don’t need then you start using it and you can’t live with out it.

      • in fact, in mu care I used iPhone because it’s really supported my needs, I wanted a mobile phone supports languages that even WMobile OS, and Android OS didn’t make any version to make them built-in till now, every time I tried them I got corruptions…The iOS really support languages very well. any extra features that doesn’t effects the performance of the set power, and memory is accepted by me…

  • It’s a mock up not a screen shot.

    • I believe its a screenshot since there are also pictures of it on a device. Check the link where it says leaked screenshots.

    • Anonymous

      based on this, pile can simply fly a plane over any terrain and have a 3D model very quickly, i would say this is better than a flat map which can be very confusing….just imaging being in the wild knowing your terrain and being able to see it in 3D

  • Reyn Yonashiro

    But the Android version already has 3D maps…maybe they’re going to introduce timelapsed maps?

  • Anonymous

    think about the ability to really see where you are going…not just a flat trail with an arrow and street names and pictures from a satellite….now you can really explore your city…it opens many possibilities and google may have a 3d thing too…sure everyone probably will, but as always apple has had this for a few years now and probably been perfecting the technology while google most likely rushed it as always just to beat Apple to the announcement…by June 12 everyone will have forgotten about Google though.

    • Anonymous

      I doubt Apple will blow Google away and most likely we will still be using google. I could be totally wrong but I don’t see Apple beating google right out of the gate. Now Apple may have some cool and better features but I will just say Google’s will just work because they have been doing it for so long. But if I’m wrong that will make me happy.

  • sasan akbari

    Google is doing its best but apple doesn’t.
    I feel sorry for apple. Apple is not providing new ways of tech and features, but google is working hard on them and I personally perfer new things on my phone!
    So next smart phone that I’ll buy wouldn’t be iphone!

    • Anonymous

      How do you know what Apple is doing?

      It’s odd that you say that you prefer new things on your phone since Android phones never get updates.

      In the past year Google has done:

      ICS (which was released 7 months ago and 7% of Android users are on)
      G+ (nobody uses it)
      Google Glasses (which they “hope” to get out by next year)
      Google Drive (you’ll be lucky to have this in your car within 15 years)
      Maps update (a terrific app)

      Google hasn’t really done much. They certainly talk a lot about what they want to do though.

      • Its odd that everyone who doesn’t really like Android, always complains how it never gets any updates. OK, I get it, it doesn’t get updates. How about you start focusing on all the features it DOES have compared to iOS?
        Be honest, your (our) non-jailbroken iOS devices are not even comparable to an Android phone, such as the Galaxy S3. Keep it real! All the updates iOS does get, rely on a couple people willing enough to release jailbreak tools.

    • Enjoy your malware!

      pretty high chance you wont even have ICS

  • They can stop thinking about the maps and facelift of appstore, ibooks and itunes. Give us a new iphone design and maybe, just maybe facelift of complete iOS

  • Aric Bolf

    I’m willing to bet Google had this new version of maps sitting in their vault for who knows how long until someone decided to compete with them.

  • 3d maps never took off in purpose built driving GPS units so why would you want one on your phone?
    Streetview is handy so you can see the facing of the building youre looking for but why would i want to see the whole thing in 3d? Cool gimmick but would only be used 1% of the time.

  • Anonymous

    google maps should be there in any smartphone.Strangely windows phone said no 🙁
    Apple can be have his own map, but don’t kill google maps app.
    I wish apple can add user custom turn by turn voice direction like my dead nokia e72 has.

  • I don’t really feel like reading this article, but something keeps bugging me. Sometimes (which is very, very often), apple fanboys really prove just how they pathetic they are. Making up rumors about an Apple television, Apple car, Apple house, Apple vibrators… And now Apple should be afraid that Google’s new 3D maps could be better then their non-existent 3D maps. You have got to be fucking kidding me.
    I hope all these misleading article titles and retarded rumors are worth all the clicks you got.

  • Geeks on Hugs

    Apple will patent their mapping system and then sue Google for copying them. LOL

  • Geeks on Hugs

    And that’s this evenings talking points memo.

  • I don’t like how in this article they didn’t mention how Apple got back in the game in the 90’s. It was because of Bill Gates generosity that Apple is still here today. He bought a huge part of the company and many people don’t remember that.

  • This maps is very helpful to finding a place…

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