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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2015
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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. 

  • Reply 2 of 82
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member


    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.

  • Reply 3 of 82
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 82


    -No Street View


    -No public transit support


     


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

  • Reply 5 of 82
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    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:


     


     


    image


     


    (Sarcasm. Has your browser detected it yet?)

  • Reply 6 of 82
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member

    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

  • Reply 7 of 82


    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.

  • Reply 8 of 82


    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.

  • Reply 9 of 82

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 82


    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...

  • Reply 11 of 82
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member


    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.

  • Reply 12 of 82

    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. 

  • Reply 13 of 82
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 82
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 82
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 16 of 82
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 82
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member


    My dad's bigger than your dad...


     


    ...seriously.

  • Reply 18 of 82
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 82

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 82
    Look at the top left photo for Google Earth on that ipad.

    Look next to the Wifi symbol on that ipad.

    [SIZE=16px]Google Earth was still rendering the image when the screenshot was taken. iOS maps had finished.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=14px]Not fair at all. I should take a screenshot of ios maps when it's all grey tiles and compare it then.[/SIZE]

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