Google Maps challenges Apple’s 3D mode with a new ‘immersive view’ for cities

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Google Maps challenges Apple’s 3D mode with a new ‘immersive view’ for cities

In the face of increased competition from Apple Maps and its 3D city views, Google today introduced its own vision for its next-generation Google Maps with a preview of its new more “immersive” viewing experience. The enhancement, presented during Google’s I/O conference keynote, leverages a combination of computer vision and A.I. technology to fuse together Street View and aerial imagery in order to offer a digital model of the world and a new way to explore cities, key landmarks, restaurants, venues, and other places of interest.

Google’s immersive mode, however, will additionally allow users to look up local weather and traffic conditions to aid with planning.

This new mode won’t stop at just representing major cities in a more immersive perspective — it will also make it possible to more easily explore inside places, including neighborhood restaurants and other popular venues.

Google says it has fused together “billions” of images to create this immersive view, which allows users to explore by visually soaring over an area to see what it may look like. For example, if you were planning a trip to London, you might use the feature to look at landmarks like Big Ben or Westminster to get a better sense of the place and experience and the architecture. You’ll also be able to use a “time slider” to adjust what the area looks like at different times of day — a feature that somewhat resembles Apple Maps’ nighttime mode with a moonlight glow that activates at dusk, even when browsing 3D cities.

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