By Stephen Schenck | June 1, 2012 5:25 PM
There have been plenty of rumors lately about the possibility for Apple breaking ties with Google as the provider of data for its Maps app with the release of iOS 6, and moving to its own solution. More interesting than that, though, this switch would also supposedly introduce some new high-quality 3D content to the app, presumably relying on technology acquired when Apple swooped-up C3 Technologies last year. As we expect to start learning about these changes this summer, with the WWDC coming up fast, Google looks like it may be trying to steal a little of Apple’s thunder, announcing its own Google Maps event for next week to showcase some of the company’s upcoming innovations.
In its announcement, Google invites us to check out “the next dimension of Google Maps”. Just what could it mean by that? Our initial thought, especially in the light of the Apple rumors and its wording here, is that Google may be working on some 3D content of its own. Of course, Google Maps already displays some 3D structures, so presumably we’d be looking at an extension of that feature. If whatever Google’s planning next is noteworthy enough to promote it as the company is, though, we’d expect it to be a lot more impressive than just an incremental improvement to existing Maps abilities.
So, what then? It could be a matter of scale that has the company so excited, and perhaps it has some way to drastically increase the amount of 3D content in Google Maps through processing its existing map and Street View data. Maybe it plans to offer some new way to visualize that data that we haven’t even considered yet. Whatever it’s planning, we’ll find out in a little under a week, with this unveiling set to take place on next Wednesday, June 6.