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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 112
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 2 of 112
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member


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

  • Reply 3 of 112
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member


    Maps? Meh...

  • Reply 4 of 112
    DaekwanDaekwan Posts: 174member


    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.

  • Reply 5 of 112
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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. 

  • Reply 6 of 112
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    If Apple dumps Google maps, Google will simply (more likely) release a stand alone [B]Google Maps app for iOS[/B]..
  • Reply 7 of 112

    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. 

  • Reply 8 of 112
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member

    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?

  • Reply 9 of 112

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 112
    notownnotown Posts: 39member


    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...

  • Reply 11 of 112
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    drdoppio wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 112
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member


    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. 

  • Reply 13 of 112
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 112
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member


    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.

  • Reply 15 of 112
    rocroc Posts: 4member


    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...

  • Reply 16 of 112
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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. 

  • Reply 17 of 112
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member


     


    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

  • Reply 18 of 112
    rocroc Posts: 4member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 112
    pokepoke Posts: 506member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 112
    inkswampinkswamp Posts: 337member

    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.

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