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New Google Earth 3D cities not as detailed as Apple iOS 6 Maps

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
A side-by-side comparison of Google's newly-refreshed Google Earth for iOS appears to yield inferior results when compared to the beta version of Apple's upcoming iOS 6 Maps app.

While Google Earth version 7.0.0 became the first iOS mapping app to feature 3D imagery when it rolled out on Thursday, a preliminary comparison to Apple's "flyover" feature in the upcoming iOS 6 Maps app shows Google's solution offers markedly less detail and overall resolution.

It should be noted that the comparison shots of Apple's 3D modeling system came from the as-yet-unreleased version of Maps, meaning image quality may change when iOS 6 is released this fall.

As seen in the screenshots of San Francisco's Moscone Center provided to AppleInsider from reader Tom, Google Earth provides lower resolutions and "blocky" 3D structures. A good example are the green foliage located in the lower right of each image. Google's version shows major signs of post-rendering while Apple's version is crisp and detailed almost down to leaf-level.

Moscone Center
View of Moscone Center in Google Earth (left) and Apple Maps (right)


Taking the angle of view and observer positioning into consideration, Google Earth's representation of the Moscone Center is slightly askew. Though it is unknown when these images were taken, the rendering in Apple's Maps app seems to be more accurate as seen by the straight lines on the building's roof. Both versions have trouble rendering the area where the Center's large moving display apparatus meets the roofline, though Google's algorithm appears to warp the image enough to make the building appear globular.

City View
Google Earth (left) versus Apple Maps (right).


As far as speed of rendering 3D objects, the two apps perform somewhat equally, with Google continuing to use the "blurry-to-sharp" solution when processing image data while Apple employs gray grids when data tiles haven't yet been loaded.

As announced during WWDC in June, rendering for Apple's Maps is done in real time and reportedly boasts consistent sharpness in flyover mode. Google, on the other hand, seems to suffer from the same persistent image quality seen in the company's "Street View" and Satellite imagery where zooming in produces increasingly blurry results.

Google Earth 7.0.0 is out now with 3D city support for Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Geneva and Rome with more planned to be added at a later date. The extended 3D view is limited to high-performing iOS products with the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 stated as baseline devices.
post #2 of 79

But… Apple's maps are terrible. This can't be. Google must have better maps. There's no way a beta can be better than a release product. 

post #3 of 79

Apples 3D looks better but it needs to be because theres no street view. The more detail the better. Hopefully midsize and smaller cities will be added to Apple's 3D Maps.

post #4 of 79
I deleted everything Google of my MacBook including Google Earth, after upgrading to ML and reinstalling Little Snitch, there were constant attempts to connect to one Google thing or another, got sick of blocking them.

I wasn't really using it much anyway.
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post #5 of 79

-No Street View

-No public transit support

 

I hope Google makes a 3rd party maps app for iOS.

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post #6 of 79

If there's ever been better proof of Google's copying of Apple, then this is it.

 

Pick any address in Apple's new map system. Then go to the exact same address using Google Maps.

 

Almost exactly the same.

 

Google. You bastards!

 

This should be Google's new Android logo:

 

 

700

 

(Sarcasm. Has your browser detected it yet?)

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post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

-No Street View

-No public transit support

 

I hope Google makes a 3rd party maps app for iOS.

BETA

post #8 of 79

Look at the top left photo for Google Earth on that ipad.

 

Look next to the Wifi symbol on that ipad.

 

Google Earth was still rendering the image when the screenshot was taken. iOS maps had finished.

 

Not fair at all. I should take a screenshot of ios maps when it's all grey tiles and compare it then.

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post #9 of 79

Lets wait and see when Apple releases their maps app. You can't really compare a released product with an unreleased demo.

 

Does anyone else think 3D maps are kind of pointless? Unless I'm flying an aircraft, it doesn't really help more than a standard top-down map. Just give me street names and what side of the street the destination is on and I can figure it out.

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post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post

BETA

Implying Apple is going to make EITHER of those features come to their iOS maps.

 

They already stated they won't do transit, and I'm sorry but I haven't seen apple cars driving around my city mapping everything with cameras.

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post #11 of 79

I wonder if Apple were using a light-field camera to do their aerial photography? Certainly seems like they might have done, given that it would give them plenty of data to play with and the ability to focus correctly well after the event...

post #12 of 79

Google's version is slower to load, less detailed and shows less stuff at the same time. I'm disappointed, I hoped they would bring something cool but their version of 3D cities is unusable imo. Maybe Apple uses special API for this? Why can't we have both Apple maps 3D AND streetview in the maps app, why :'( ? 

 

edit : apart from this Google maps and Earth are superior in any other possible way to Apple maps imo. Apple maps have gotten better since the last iOS6 beta and are a little more detailed, but they still look too artificial imo, a map has to feel organic in some way, because the world is alive and made of curves. I just find maps to be too angular. And don't get me started on the satellite images and transitions from distant to close images. For that google maps is almost perfect now, smooth and almost seemless.

post #13 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

Google's version is slower to load, less detailed and shows less stuff at the same time. I'm disappointed, I hoped they would bring something cool but their version of 3D cities is unusable imo. Maybe Apple uses special API for this? Why can't we have both Apple maps 3D AND streetview in the maps app, why :'( ? 

 

edit : apart from this Google maps and Earth are superior in any other possible way to Apple maps imo. Apple maps have gotten better since the last iOS6 beta and are a little more detailed, but they still look too artificial imo, a map has to feel organic in some way, because the world is alive and made of curves. I just find maps to be too angular. And don't get me started on the satellite images and transitions from distant to close images. For that google maps is almost perfect now, smooth and almost seemless.

Apple is doing their best to burn bridges with Google. That's why you'll never seen street view in apple's maps.

 

And yeah, this is one of my big reasons for sticking with Android. Mapping is far superior. 

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post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Apple is doing their best to burn bridges with Google. That's why you'll never seen street view in apple's maps.

 

And yeah, this is one of my big reasons for sticking with Android. Mapping is far superior. 

I just love street view. I can literally spend hours touring distant cities with it. I've never been to NYC, but I know my way in the tip of Manhattan now. Same thing with a city on the other side of the globe where I'll be living in a year. It's exciting.

post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

Lets wait and see when Apple releases their maps app. You can't really compare a released product with an unreleased demo.

 

Does anyone else think 3D maps are kind of pointless? Unless I'm flying an aircraft, it doesn't really help more than a standard top-down map. Just give me street names and what side of the street the destination is on and I can figure it out.

Fact is 99% of cities won't have a 3D map and THAT'S what makes it pointless to most people. Street View in this case is superior because even small towns have street view images.

post #16 of 79
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post
Fact is 99% of cities won't have a 3D map and THAT'S what makes it pointless to most people. Street View in this case is superior because even small towns have street view images.

 

Of the main street through the town. That's it. Whereas you can just fly over anywhere and get the 3D maps instead of driving down every road.

post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Apple is doing their best to burn bridges with Google. That's why you'll never seen street view in apple's maps.

 

And yeah, this is one of my big reasons for sticking with Android. Mapping is far superior. 

Apple will always have plenty of 3rd party mapping apps, and some are better than Google Maps. Plus I'm pretty sure Google will still offer their Maps app on iOS because they demoed their software on an iPad of all things.

post #18 of 79

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post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Of the main street through the town. That's it. Whereas you can just fly over anywhere and get the 3D maps instead of driving down every road.

Currently Apple and Google's 3D solutions only have images of major cities and there are a lot of little main streets across America that have street view which even surprises me at times.

post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Of the main street through the town. That's it. Whereas you can just fly over anywhere and get the 3D maps instead of driving down every road.

Main street through town? There are street view images of back country roads in the farm country here in Oregon and out in the middle of nowhere in Alaska.

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post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Look at the top left photo for Google Earth on that ipad.

Look next to the Wifi symbol on that ipad.

Google Earth was still rendering the image when the screenshot was taken. iOS maps had finished.

Not fair at all. I should take a screenshot of ios maps when it's all grey tiles and compare it then.

I tried looking at the same place when it had fully loaded. It looked no different at all, it was still poor quality.
post #22 of 79

Great tool for writers to! Visiting cities and checking out locations without actually going there. 

post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

But… Apple's maps are terrible. This can't be. Google must have better maps. There's no way a beta can be better than a release product. 


as a global moderator, is that the official appleinsider position?

post #24 of 79

OK everyone listen!  I have a perfect solution to all this maps bickering!

 

Google just leaves maps alone and FOCUSES ON GOOGLE FIBER AND PUTTING IT EVERYWHERE!

 

Apple- release your maps, then focus on making the new iPhone!

 

Solved!

post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Of the main street through the town. That's it. Whereas you can just fly over anywhere and get the 3D maps instead of driving down every road.

No, come on stop being so stubborn! Every small village in the USA and most Europe has street view all over it.

post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Of the main street through the town. That's it. Whereas you can just fly over anywhere and get the 3D maps instead of driving down every road.

 

I think you do a pretty good job of defending their decisions and I know you have such a high opinion of yourself that you are incapable of admitting errors, but ....

 

... even you has to admit at some point that:  

 

- Street view is a very useful thing that absolutely HUGE numbers of consumers use every day

- Apple doesn't and won't ever have street view.

 

Whether you will admit to this or not, it is a real problem and it's worse for the "moral minority" (like myself) who currently refuse to use Google products, yet really, really, really need street view on maps.  

 

Street view and transit information are two of the most important pieces of the whole mobile maps solution for a very large group of people.  The fact that Apple's maps solution doesn't have either (so far) is definitely a big problem.  

 

It seems bizarre to me that Apple seems to be thinking that the "whiz-bang" of the 3D maps will cover up this gigantic hole in the functionality of their maps product.  Unless their renders are so great that people will be able to zoom down to street level and see where they are, this will be a big failure in a lot of people's eyes and therfore a gigantic PR "mis-step."    

post #27 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Of the main street through the town. That's it. Whereas you can just fly over anywhere and get the 3D maps instead of driving down every road.

LOL.good luck with that.this type of imagery was used over a decade ago when we were using gps to bomb targets in Bosnia,Kosovo and Iraq. But it is near useless in urban areas for ground level targets,or in this case, addresses. street view will show you what an unfamiliar place will look like, from your own perspective, as you arrive. quite handy when you have businesses, restaurants or residences clustered side by side, front to back or on top of each other. 

 

by the way, google earth has a flight simulator built into it for doing what you describe. it's fun, but useless for ground navigation.

post #28 of 79

Hey, maybe Street View is so popular that Google should just release it for free. (That's their argument for why they should get away with stealing Apple's iPhone IP)

post #29 of 79

However you look at it, this technology is plain awesome. And it's free!

 

Apple's deployment of 3D maps does make you wonder - will they bring it to the desktop too?  After all, there is no reason why it won't work.

 

BTW, will Mapquest become totally irrelevant soon?  Surprisingly, it is still alive.
 

post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Hey, maybe Street View is so popular that Google should just release it for free. (That's their argument for why they should get away with stealing Apple's iPhone IP)

I think it is free.

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post #31 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I think you do a pretty good job of defending their decisions and I know you have such a high opinion of yourself that you are incapable of admitting errors, but ....

 

... even you has to admit at some point that:  

 

- Street view is a very useful thing that absolutely HUGE numbers of consumers use every day

- Apple doesn't and won't ever have street view.

 

Whether you will admit to this or not, it is a real problem and it's worse for the "moral minority" (like myself) who currently refuse to use Google products, yet really, really, really need street view on maps.  

 

Street view and transit information are two of the most important pieces of the whole mobile maps solution for a very large group of people.  The fact that Apple's maps solution doesn't have either (so far) is definitely a big problem.  

 

It seems bizarre to me that Apple seems to be thinking that the "whiz-bang" of the 3D maps will cover up this gigantic hole in the functionality of their maps product.  Unless their renders are so great that people will be able to zoom down to street level and see where they are, this will be a big failure in a lot of people's eyes and therfore a gigantic PR "mis-step."    

Most people don't use street view often and a lot of people don't know its even available on their phones. This will be a non-issue for most people.

post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

However you look at it, this technology is plain awesome. And it's free!

Apple's deployment of 3D maps does make you wonder - will they bring it to the desktop too?  After all, there is no reason why it won't work.

BTW, will Mapquest become totally irrelevant soon?  Surprisingly, it is still alive.

 

Mapquest gives better directions than Google.
post #33 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

- Street view is a very useful thing that absolutely HUGE numbers of consumers use every day

- Apple doesn't and won't ever have street view.

 

Whether you will admit to this or not, it is a real problem and it's worse for the "moral minority" (like myself) who currently refuse to use Google products, yet really, really, really need street view on maps.  

 

Street view and transit information are two of the most important pieces of the whole mobile maps solution for a very large group of people.  The fact that Apple's maps solution doesn't have either (so far) is definitely a big problem.  

 

It seems bizarre to me that Apple seems to be thinking that the "whiz-bang" of the 3D maps will cover up this gigantic hole in the functionality of their maps product.  Unless their renders are so great that people will be able to zoom down to street level and see where they are, this will be a big failure in a lot of people's eyes and therfore a gigantic PR "mis-step."    

 

I agree on the usefulness of both street view and transit.

 

I don't, necessarily, agree that Apple won't have either... Apple could  contract Google for those bits of data... the Maps app on iOS has always been an Apple app using Google data.

 

If nothing else, I believe that Tim is practical -- even Steve did business with frenemies like Softy and Sammy.

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post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Look at the top left photo for Google Earth on that ipad.

Look next to the Wifi symbol on that ipad.

Google Earth was still rendering the image when the screenshot was taken. iOS maps had finished.

Not fair at all. I should take a screenshot of ios maps when it's all grey tiles and compare it then.

I checked, and the quality doesn't get better than what is in the picture (and I had to wait a long time to be sure). Not to say the Apple maps are so detailed either, but they are clearly better. Except, of course, street view, which I'm very disappointed by. I do hope Googe Earthbfor iOS gets that in the next version.

All Google has done is overlay these new 3d terrain objects over a sattalite picture, and it's not much more impressive than the cad models they used before.
post #35 of 79

I've never used either on a mobile device, know of nobody who does, so I'm not following your assertion.

post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by macosxp View Post


I checked, and the quality doesn't get better than what is in the picture (and I had to wait a long time to be sure). Not to say the Apple maps are so detailed either, but they are clearly better. Except, of course, street view, which I'm very disappointed by. I do hope Googe Earthbfor iOS gets that in the next version.
All Google has done is overlay these new 3d terrain objects over a sattalite picture, and it's not much more impressive than the cad models they used before.

I'd say it's worse because it's so blurry.

 

and slow

post #37 of 79
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post
Main street through town? There are street view images of back country roads in the farm country here in Oregon and out in the middle of nowhere in Alaska.
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post
Every small village in the USA and most Europe has street view all over it.

 

There's no Google love where I live. It's not even Backwateria, ST, either. Main road east-west, main road north-south. That's it. Guess they don't like the midwest.

 

Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
... even you has to admit at some point that:  

- Street view is a very useful thing that absolutely HUGE numbers of consumers use every day

 

Do they? I've never heard anything like that. Are there numbers anywhere? And I don't think Apple would ever waste their time with street view, but you can't say they'll never have it.

post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by macosxp View Post

I checked, and the quality doesn't get better than what is in the picture (and I had to wait a long time to be sure). Not to say the Apple maps are so detailed either, but they are clearly better. Except, of course, street view, which I'm very disappointed by. I do hope Googe Earthbfor iOS gets that in the next version.
All Google has done is overlay these new 3d terrain objects over a sattalite picture, and it's not much more impressive than the cad models they used before.

That's because the network activity we see, after the image finishes rendering, is Google Earth uploading your contacts and calendar to the Googleplex. Don't worry, it's for your own good.
post #39 of 79
Transit information?

The only "transit information" I need is when I feel like putting my key in the ignition and pulling out onto the road.

For those poor unfortunates who dont have a car, transit information is available through a quick Bing of transit company's website for the timetables.
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post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Fact is 99% of cities won't have a 3D map and THAT'S what makes it pointless to most people. Street View in this case is superior because even small towns have street view images.

But who really uses street iew? I have a friend that might use it once a year. God I hope for a Google maps that:

1) doesn't always want to go not street view. Can I just disable it?

2) can I take a wet trout to the engineer that thought using he click wheel to zoom was a good idea? Seriously? Zoom?

3) is up to date? Is it that hard to be at least 5 years near where things are?

Until then, I am very open to any map system that is better.
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