Google Maps for Android Now in 3D

Google Maps 5.0 is launching for Android based smartphones. New features that Maps 5.0 brings to the smartphone is 3D buildings, faster load times as well as an offline mode. The compass also plays a part in that the map can rotate to the direction you are currently facing.

Google [GOOG] managed to get the 3D buildings and realtime renderings thanks to using a far smaller file size. The buildings are drawn in vectors and overall, the data is about 100 times smaller which allows for faster loading and smoother scrolling.

Prior to this new release, Google Maps worked on tiles and loaded squares of data when you passed in to a new zone. What this new version does is loads buildings as you get closer to them.

A lot of the 3D buildings will be rolled out over time with about 100 cities being available in 3D at launch (in a day or two time).

The offline mode is capable of tracking which areas you use maps in first and after visiting, it caches the data on the phone allowing you to store a local copy of the map data.

As for technical requirements, the new Google Maps 5.0 for Android will work on anything with 1.6 or above although for the 3D buildings and realtime rotation, you’ll need more modern hardware to handle it.

Via: Gizmodo

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