Originally Posted by caliminius
So if this supposed to be a comparison of iOS 6 Maps vs. Google Maps 2.0, why are there screenshots from pre-2.0 Google Maps and iOS 7 Maps? Not to mention, the screenshot of Google Maps running in Safari?
The article explains the reason for the use of most of the different versions of Apple Maps and Google Maps. The elephant in the room is iOS 7 Maps and Mavericks OSX Maps -- both of which are under NDA, so you can't really show images or discuss details beyond what has been made publicly by Apple.
A big part seems to Google Street View vs. Apple Flyover (is that Apple's copyright-able term for 3D view?). I think they're both neat gimmicks, but for the map experience I feel Street View adds more value. First, there's the simple fact that Street View is available for a wider array of locations. Second, it gives you a pretty good view of your destination for the most part. There are issues if the street has changed since Google drove through but that's inevitable with either system. Apple's 3D mode is kind of neat to look but isn't available for a large number of areas. And it seems to take forever to load such that what you're seeing is a bunch of deformed buildings that look like they came from a post-apocalypse video game instead of a mapping program. And even when (if) it loads, I'm not sure what value it adds. I can see tiny 3D buildings. It's neat but how helpful is that?
I do not think Street View or 3D Flyover are gimmicks.
Street View is very useful to view a location if you know the address -- but tedious to navigate more than a few feet. Also, Street View isn't [usually] available for places where there are no streets -- An enclosed courtyard, a small island (Statue of Liberty), within a park or garden, the base of a dam, waterfall, etc.
3D Flyover lets you quickly navigate to investigate the surrounding area with pan, zoom and rotate. It doesn't give you an exact picture of a location, as Street View does -- but usually it is good enough -- and much more flexible.
3D Flyover vector images actually load and display faster than older bit-mapped images. And, vector images can accommodate more zoom levels without loading a different set of tiles.
3D Flyover really comes into its own on the desktop or on an iPad with WiFi. The desktop Maps app can be used for quickly and easily exploring alternatives and trip planning. Once you've settled on a trip, the map/route can be sent to your iDevices.
For example, using 3D Flyover On my Mac OSX Mavericks I just planned a route from:
Quartier Préfecture, Tunnel de La Défense, 92000 Nanterre
I simulated a flyover of the Arc De Triomphe down the Champs-Elysee to the Louvre. It is a pretty straight-forward route and it looks amazing in 3D Flyover. I wish I could post it.
Then with 1 click I transferred it to my iPad 4 -- another click to my iPhone 4S. These are sent along with a notification to the selected iDevices. When you acknowledge the notification, the Map App is opened on the device and you can select the received map/route for display. On the iDevice you can display the map (Standard, Hybrid, or Satellite), the route (and alternates), with or without 3D and Traffic. Then, when ready, you can invoke the point-to-point navigation and traverse the route.-- or just review the route (overview) for later use.
Limited by the NDA, I can't do justice to the experience on both ends -- it's informative, very useful, fast and fun!
Hopefully, before too long, OSX Mavericks will be released -- and everyone will be able to experience this use of Apple Maps.