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Google to unveil 'the next dimension' of its Maps ahead of WWDC

post #1 of 113
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As Apple is expected to transition away from Google Maps, the search company has begun hyping an event in San Francisco next week where it promises to show off "the next dimension of Google Maps."

The invite-only event will be held next Wednesday, June 6, at 9:30 a.m. Pacific, Members of the press were invited to the event on Friday.

Scheduled to appear is Brian McClendon, Google's vice president of its Maps and Earth services. He will be offering a "sneak peek" at upcoming features, the company said.

The timing of the event is noteworthy, as it's less than a week before Apple is scheduled to hold its keynote address that will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The company is widely expected to show off the next major version of its iOS operating system, featuring an all-new Maps application built by Apple, replacing the current offering that relies on Google's mapping services.

The most significant feature of Apple's new mapping software is believed to be a three-dimensional view. The anticipated feature is likely driven by technology Apple acquired in 2010, when it purchased C3 Technologies, a Swedish 3D mapping company.

Maps
Google Maps event invitations were sent out on Friday (via CNet).


Apple's apparent plans to build its own mapping software have been in motion for some time. In 2009, the iPhone maker bought Google Maps competitor Placebase, and in 2010 it bought online mapping company Poly9 and also began using its own location databases for the iOS Maps application.



Traffic may also play a key role in Apple's new Maps application for iOS 6, as the company publicly announced in April 2011 that it was "collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database." The company revealed to the U.S. Congress that its "improved traffic service" would launch in "the next couple of years."

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt revealed a year ago that his company and Apple had renewed their deal to continue providing maps and search technology for the iPhone, and said he hoped the deals would "continue for a long time." The comments put to rest — at least for the time being —?that Apple was imminently planning to ditch Google's mapping technology on the iPhone.
post #2 of 113

It's entirely possible that this is the new iOS Maps and not an Apple solution.

 

While this does sound a lot like CES trying to upstage MacWorld (back when Apple still went), I don't think that can be discredited.

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post #3 of 113

The rumors sites all worked extra hard to make sure Google got as much advanced warning as possible.

post #4 of 113

Maps? Meh...

post #5 of 113

Sounds like Google had a few ideas on updating their maps app for while.  And they were just sitting around for a while in some early beta/labs form.  But all of sudden, now that Apple is expected to give them the chop at WWDC, they want to quickly announce these beta features as soon as possible to save face.

 

I find it extremely hard to believe this is some coincedence that Google is doing this, in San Francisco, less than one week before the heavily rumored Apple maps announcement.  This sentence alone seems to explain everything "He will be offering a "sneak peek" at upcoming features, the company said."  Sneak peek?  Upcoming features?  Why not just announce them when they are ready to go.  And not something promised in the future.

post #6 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Maps

I'm not sure if the picture is supposed to be a hint, but if it is ... maybe they are finally merging Google earth and google maps?  

 

I'm not sure what the point of it is unless they can replicate what Apple is doing and that seems very unlikely on the face of it. 

post #7 of 113
If Apple dumps Google maps, Google will simply (more likely) release a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS..
post #8 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daekwan View Post

 But all of sudden, now that Apple is expected to give them the chop at WWDC, they want to quickly announce these beta features as soon as possible to save face.

 

 

Save face? Google Maps is generally considered the best mapping solution around at present and most popular. I don't think save face works. There will always be an option for Google Maps on iOS in some form regardless. (especially given comments around deal renewals) It's possible TS could be right, but that doesn't make sense entirely either. 

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post #9 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

If Apple dumps Google maps, Google will simply (more likely) release a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS..

 

But how many will want to use it?

post #10 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

 

Save face? Google Maps is generally considered the best mapping solution around at present and most popular. I don't think save face works. There will always be an option for Google Maps on iOS in some form regardless. (especially given comments around deal renewals) It's possible TS could be right, but that doesn't make sense entirely either. 

 

Indeed. Apple's the one who needs to save face in this case. They're the ones with something to poove.

post #11 of 113

Not sure about others, but I really dislike the 3D view the browser based Google Maps gives after zooming in to a certain point. How much traction is there for such a functionality in a mobile app or for whatever Google has planned? Maybe Apple and Google's new feature will be manipulable or something and it will have some value. We'll see...

post #12 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

But how many will want to use it?

If its really good.. I'm sure a significant number of people will. I see it as win-win for Apple if Google releases a stand alone maps app for iOS. iOS users will have the best of both worlds. The free turn-by-turn navigation on Google Maps for Android has attracted a lot of people towards buying Android phones.
post #13 of 113

What a shamefully cynical move, timing the announcement simply to 'me-first!' Apple. 

 

This is why rumor sites are damaging to Apple. They give its competitors all the time in the world to react, pull some shit together, and claim 1st dibs on a concept. 

post #14 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

If Apple dumps Google maps, Google will simply (more likely) release a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS..

 

That's irrelevant. If Apple's default solution is good enough, it's what the vast majority will stick to, especially considering it's deep integration with the OS.

post #15 of 113

At the moment, I see the hyper-realistic 3D maps as a fun novelty, but not what I'd be relying on day-to-day.

I think an even more interesting thing is an article I saw a while back showing a prototype of an opposite approach by Apple, which is maps and directions simplified to just the simple lines needed to get from here to there. I mean NO extraneous detail. The kind of maps you draw yourself when someone asks you directions, with no unnecessary distractions.

There's a case to be made that that would provide as much added value as the other end.

post #16 of 113

I am tired of waiting for Google to provide the really useful travel feature on its maps of weather - a crucial item to know about when it is dangerous.   I also am not impressed by their Navigator's inability to show traffic while in navigation mode - my Garmin 1695 does both (if not ideally). 

 

If Apple could remedy those shortcomings, it might get my interest in switching from Android (and WinMob 6.1?).

 

Watching from a distance...

post #17 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

At the moment, I see the hyper-realistic 3D maps as a fun novelty, but not what I'd be relying on day-to-day....

 

Assuming they have data for all areas, it could be far superior to Google's offerings though in that Google basically just has old-school wireframe block data and that data is almost exclusively for a few big cities only.  They then paste graphics on the side of the blocks to represent the buildings.  

 

Google's street view (which is a core feature for users), also fails almost everywhere there isn't a road for their cars.  They have  tricycle type of deal for doing street view where the streets are actually sidewalks or trails but again, with very limited coverage.  

 

Apple's 3D view has the potential (we won't know until we see it of course), of enabling 3D "street view" type views anywhere on the planet, trails, beaches, etc. 

 

If that is in fact the case, then 3D view will be very very useful indeed and blow away Google's offering. 

post #18 of 113

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

What a shamefully cynical move, timing the announcement simply to 'me-first!' Apple. 

 

This is why rumor sites are damaging to Apple. They give its competitors all the time in the world to react, pull some shit together, and claim 1st dibs on a concept. 

 

You're joking, right?

 

I bet Google will be announcing ideas that they stole from Apple's announcement five days later... /s

post #19 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

At the moment, I see the hyper-realistic 3D maps as a fun novelty, but not what I'd be relying on day-to-day.

I think an even more interesting thing is an article I saw a while back showing a prototype of an opposite approach by Apple, which is maps and directions simplified to just the simple lines needed to get from here to there. I mean NO extraneous detail. The kind of maps you draw yourself when someone asks you directions, with no unnecessary distractions.

There's a case to be made that that would provide as much added value as the other end.


That sounds intriguing. I would like to see it in action, although it sounds similar to the lowest detail setting of a Garmin PND - I usually crank it up to medium if not highest, so maybe not so cool.   Will give it a look, though, if that is what is offered.

post #20 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

At the moment, I see the hyper-realistic 3D maps as a fun novelty, but not what I'd be relying on day-to-day.

I think an even more interesting thing is an article I saw a while back showing a prototype of an opposite approach by Apple, which is maps and directions simplified to just the simple lines needed to get from here to there. I mean NO extraneous detail. The kind of maps you draw yourself when someone asks you directions, with no unnecessary distractions.

There's a case to be made that that would provide as much added value as the other end.

 

I don't know. Personally I've always been bad at remembering names and I'm now very reliant on street view. Whenever I go somewhere, I use street view to take a look at the major junctions, turning points, etc, instead of memorising road names. But the street view interface can be pretty clunky and slow. I think being able to zoom around a 3D map would be perfect for me. It's probably a personal preference thing. Some people prefer diagrams and road names, some people prefer visualisation.

post #21 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

 

Save face? Google Maps is generally considered the best mapping solution around at present and most popular. I don't think save face works. There will always be an option for Google Maps on iOS in some form regardless. (especially given comments around deal renewals) It's possible TS could be right, but that doesn't make sense entirely either. 

 

"best mapping solution [...] and most popular..."

 

The first adjective is entirely subjective (personally, I think Bing Maps is superior in a lot of ways) and the second is completely irrelevant. After all, Windows is more popular than OS X and we know how much that matters.

post #22 of 113

I would want to use it. Especially if they integrate latitude and offer the same features that have been missing in iOS that are in android

post #23 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The timing of the event is noteworthy, as it's less than a week before Apple is scheduled to hold its keynote address that will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

 

That's a pretty short media shelf-life.  Just like how all CES news gets blown away by the yearly iPad announcement.

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post #24 of 113

I would want to use it. Especially if they integrate latitude and offer the same features that have been missing in iOS that are in android

post #25 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

 

Save face? Google Maps is generally considered the best mapping solution around at present and most popular. I don't think save face works. There will always be an option for Google Maps on iOS in some form regardless. (especially given comments around deal renewals) It's possible TS could be right, but that doesn't make sense entirely either. 

 

When a product line has sold over 300 million devices, that uses your mapping system.. and then decides to drop you.  Its an absolutely HUGE concern.

 

There's simply no way to spin that.

post #26 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

If Apple dumps Google maps, Google will simply (more likely) release a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS..

I think Apple has a rule about not allowing apps that replicate the functionality of core iOS apps. I do however hope that iOS 6 with the new maps also allows one to switch to the maps engine of the users' choice like they do with search. I for one think it will be a while before Apple can release a map app that exceeds Google's in functionality especially the Street View and mass transit schedules, bus stops, etc. 

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post #27 of 113

Maybe we might luck out and Google will release a competent Google Maps app for iOS. I find the Apple-developed Maps included with iOS as lacking and frequently frustrating to use.  Who knows -- maybe the iOS 6 Maps might finally be decent.  I could care less about any gimmicks such as 3D though.

post #28 of 113

If Apple needs data I hope they make an easy way for users to contribute. I think it would be cool to be able to go somewhere with your phone and say, "Hey that don't have data here yet, let me contribute real quick". Next thing you know your contribution starts showing up in the mapping. 

 

Just seems odd that there is not an easy way to contribute to maps with all the smart phones out there.

post #29 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


If its really good.. I'm sure a significant number of people will. I see it as win-win for Apple if Google releases a stand alone maps app for iOS. iOS users will have the best of both worlds. The free turn-by-turn navigation on Google Maps for Android has attracted a lot of people towards buying Android phones.

 

You wish. A stand alone app versus tight integration of iOS 6 Maps that Apple customizes will guarantee that Google Maps is sparsely used any where in the iOS Ecosystem, especially with advance 3D capabilities that will come with API access at no extra fees for Developers guarantees Google's days are numbered on iOS leaving Google to attempt a big splash on Android to make a push for Devs to expand capabilities and run a bunch of useless DROID ads.

post #30 of 113

Did Eric Schmidt attend another Apple Board of Directors Meeting?

 

Besides, 'maps' are an aside to the Smart Phone itself and rumor sites reporting it are not damaging Apple.  If you're not gaga for Apple or anti-Apple, nobody is going to know.  I can ask every single neighbor around me of this news and they'd be shocked and say (click link for better sound effect)...

 

WHHHHHHHHHUH?  

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post #31 of 113
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think Apple has a rule about not allowing apps that replicate the functionality of core iOS apps. I do however hope that iOS 6 with the new maps also allows one to switch to the maps engine of the users' choice like they do with search. I for one think it will be a while before Apple can release a map app that exceeds Google's in functionality especially the Street View and mass transit schedules, bus stops, etc. 

 

Won't happen and wouldn't make sense. Apple introducing iOS Maps for version 6 will be the culmination of more than 5 years work and thus you'll more than likely see this integrated into OS X, as well, system-wide.

post #32 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

At the moment, I see the hyper-realistic 3D maps as a fun novelty, but not what I'd be relying on day-to-day.

I think an even more interesting thing is an article I saw a while back showing a prototype of an opposite approach by Apple, which is maps and directions simplified to just the simple lines needed to get from here to there. I mean NO extraneous detail. The kind of maps you draw yourself when someone asks you directions, with no unnecessary distractions.

There's a case to be made that that would provide as much added value as the other end.

Seems like they'll be doing both. Nothing's worse than trying to make sense of a map and it's got the hundreds of side streets and every freeway within 100 miles. I believed the patent called it a "Schematic" map. If Apple could pull off Schematics, 3D maps from C3, and turn-by-turn, that would be great. Integrate Siri with it ("Where's the nearest gas station along the way? OK, give me directions to that one.") would blow my mind.

post #33 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

What a shamefully cynical move, timing the announcement simply to 'me-first!' Apple. 

 

This is why rumor sites are damaging to Apple. They give its competitors all the time in the world to react, pull some shit together, and claim 1st dibs on a concept. 

Do you realize how many times Apple has done this? Try the last several years at GDC...

post #34 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post
Do you realize how many times Apple has done this? Try the last several years at GDC...

 

The fact that I had to look up what that is might make you think it proves your point, but what does Apple have to do with game developers?

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post #35 of 113
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Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

If Apple needs data I hope they make an easy way for users to contribute. I think it would be cool to be able to go somewhere with your phone and say, "Hey that don't have data here yet, let me contribute real quick". Next thing you know your contribution starts showing up in the mapping. 

 

Just seems odd that there is not an easy way to contribute to maps with all the smart phones out there.

Map companies don't usually trust users to add to their map data. Too much chance for error. You can offer suggestions for improvement but you cannot actually change the data. OpenMap allows users to contribute but they recently had some problem with malicious vandalizing of their map data.

 

On a side note I heard that Google had at one time added fake cul-de-sacs to their map data to catch anyone stealing their data.

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post #36 of 113

So Google pulls together a last minute 3D maps announcement to try and pre-emptively deflate Apple's expected 3D maps announcement.

 

Kind of a transparently desperate move.

post #37 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

What a shamefully cynical move, timing the announcement simply to 'me-first!' Apple. 

 

This is why rumor sites are damaging to Apple. They give its competitors all the time in the world to react, pull some shit together, and claim 1st dibs on a concept. 

 

Hmm I wonder why competitors would claim 1st dibs on something..oh wait it's because they did it first. The first maps application was done by MapQuest some 16 years ago, not Google or Apple. Nor was speech recognition (Siri, Android voice recognition, etc...). Hell the first smartphone was some brick of a device by IBM in the 90's.

 

The only reason Apple "seems" to be first, is just for the very same reason you argue for them....marketing. Apple will put together a bunch of other common technologies/concepts and claim they are innovating, when really they are just presenting the technology that has been out for years in a pretty package.

 

I do believe Apple innovates, they put patents in for new technology every year, but you cannot claim that Apple is 1st on a concept like maps applications, because this technology has been around longer than iPhone or Android itself.

 

In this situation, Google simply beat Apple to the finish line. Doesn't mean that the new iOS maps is gonna be worse or better. Just means they didn't do it first. Google has had 3-D views on Google Maps for a while now. It's not an innovation, its a reproduction in a different form. Which is fine. I am a software engineer for a living. The same functionality can be done a million different ways..as the latest Google v Oracle case has shown. If two different implementations perform the same function, you cannot claim they are the same, because the underlying code that makes it work is different.

 

In my opinion, it's not who does it first, it's who does it better. I think at the end of the day, the success of either Google Maps or iOS Maps is going to be a subjective decision.

post #38 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It's entirely possible that this is the new iOS Maps and not an Apple solution.

 

You really think that if Google was doing anything related to iOS maps as THE maps solutions Apple would allow them to be the ones to announce it independently rather than having them demo at WWDC what they worked on with Apple. 

 

That would be a big 'when pigs fly in their icy hell' no. 

 

My gut is telling me that this announcement isn't a fully finished product but is at the sketches and mock up stages put together very quickly after hearing the rumors that not only is Apple dropping their licensing of Google's maps database (which they would already know by now) but adding 3d. It will release 'later this year' because Google needs to actually make it and the announcement is just so they can say they did it first and didn't copy Apple, although anyone with a clue can read that they copied the rumors about what Apple is doing. 

 

Basically a repeat of all the companies that tried to beat Apple to the punch on releasing a tablet after the heavy rumors that Apple was about to came about. But not a single one of those tablets was real and all were due to come out later in the year and some of them never did after they saw the first iPad. 

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post #39 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I'm not sure if the picture is supposed to be a hint, but if it is ... maybe they are finally merging Google earth and google maps?  

 

I think they are going to announce something like that. 

 

but I question if they would have ever done it if not for the rumors about Apple going to their own maps database and in 3D

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post #40 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

If Apple dumps Google maps, Google will simply (more likely) release a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS..

 

They could probably do that anyway. And if they wanted include features they didn't let Apple have access to. 

 

But I suspect they won't, at least not with the added features. They would want folks forced to go to the web version to get around Apple's data restrictions. 

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