For most uses, Google Maps just a flat, 2D app. If the user’s device can handle more graphics and data, they can enable Google Earth’s 3D dataset and see 3D buildings.
At the recent Google I/O event, Google announced a new feature to help display vivid graphics on Google Maps: “Immersive View”. When you explore an area in Google Maps with “Immersive View”, it helps you “feel like you’ve stepped into space, in real time”.
This view essentially turns Google Maps into a 3D version of SimCity with AAA video game graphics. There are simulation cars launching on the roads. There were even flocks of birds flying in the sky. There are clouds passing overhead and casting shadows on the earth or it suddenly rains…
“The weather is also simulated and the water has realistic reflections that change according to the camera. Even in London, England, users can see an animated Ferris wheel spinning” – technology site Ars Technica describe.
Image of City of London in “Immersive View” on Google Maps. Photo: Google.
Much of what is shown is real data. The cars represent the current level of traffic on a given street. Weather, historical data or real-time moving sun with time of day.
All of this is made possible by combining huge datasets from Google Maps, Google Earth, and Street View.
Google revealed that “Immersive View” will start rolling out in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco (USA), London (UK), Tokyo (Japan) and after 2022 will continue to roll out in more cities other.
“Immersive View” will work on any phone and smart device. However, just like the 3D building street view, this will be an optional transformation,” emphasized Google.
Introduction video of “Immersive View” on Google Maps. Source: Google.
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