Google Maps now in 3D for Android

by PYB James | Dec 01, 2010

An updated version of Google Maps for Android has been released by Google. The new Google Maps has been updated and will include a 3D capabilities, as well as on and offline access.

The previous Google Maps, with its inclusion of turn by turn navigation and both a satellite and street view, was already considered more advanced than other GPS and navigation devices at that time. All electronic versions of maps for the past 5 years have relied on flat, one dimensional screens and have only been accessible online.

Google Maps 5.0 has been updated in order to improve upon both the internet connection and viewing aspects of all previous navigation devices.

Google Maps for Android now uses vector graphics for its maps which means that maps are scalable and with a two finger tap the user can “tilt” the map to see a 3D view of the landscape. Previous versions prior to this release downloaded small squares stitched together, to form the map. "Tilt while zoomed in on one of the 100+ cities around the world with 3D buildings to see a skyline spring to life," Google states.

Map rotation can be done with twisting two fingers over the screen, as well as the zooming in and out by pinching the fingers together or apart, while labels will remain readable.

The offline aspect of the Google Maps 5.0 means that users can access maps even if they are not able to go online. Most frequently visited locations and trips that have be routed in Navigation, as well as possible re-routes, are cached, allowing users to access these at any time.

Android 1.6 owners will currently be able to download a free version of Google maps 5.0. The 3D and offline features are available only to Android 2.0 users.

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