Updated 25 May, 2013, 6:56 pm IST
Google Maps updated with visual enhancements
| by Anuradha Shetty |
In its latest update to Google Maps, Google has included terrain and colour gradations to represent vegetation, and labels for natural land formations. Karl Johann Schmidt, Software Engineer, Google Maps shares in an official blog post that the new visualisations will enable users to understand and see for themselves the location of expansive forests, deserts, and mountain ranges around the world. In addition, users can gauge the impact of natural land formations, as well as how and why man-made developments such as urban cities, dams, and bridges are made.
Now when users search Maps for natural land formations such as the Gobi Desert, Melville Peninsula, or Nullarbor Plain, they will be able to spot “improved, well-labeled results”. In order to depict its newest changes better, Google has shared a comparison of search results before and after the update.
Then and Now: Compare the visuals
Google recently released an update for the web version of its Maps service, which lets users access Street View from the mobile browser version of Google Maps in iOS. While the update is mainly for iOS devices, Google has said that other phones can also use Street View on the Google Maps web app, but it won’t work equally well. The feature is available on both the iPhone and the iPad by accessing Google Maps from the device and hitting the Street View button on the upper/lower right side. It is also possible to have Google Maps and Nokia Maps running on your browser in full screen on your iOS device.
Since iOS 6 was released, Apple users lost Google Maps and were forced to use the company’s new Maps app, which turned out to be very buggy. However, it looks like owners of Apple devices won’t have to wait long for their trusty Google Maps app to come to iOS 6. App Maps developer Ben Guild has posted leaked screenshots and details of what he calls the alpha build of Google Maps for iOS 6.
Guild states that the new Google Maps app for iOS 6 is vector-based, has two-finger rotation in any angle, and supports the four-inch iPhone 5 screen. He describes the app as 'super fast'.
Rumours about Google hard at work developing a standalone Maps app for iOS 6 have been doing the rounds. The New York Times reported in late September that Google’s app won’t be making it to iOS 6 for another couple of months as it was “caught off-guard” by Apple’s decision. It is speculated that the search giant only began developing the app after Apple announced in June this year that it would be replacing Google Maps with its own application.
Apple’s Maps app met with widespread criticism for its inaccurate addresses, mislabelled landmarks and other navigation features. Comparisons were drawn with Google Maps, and reviews of the iPhone 5 were marred by the criticism of the app. CEO Tim Cook eventually issued an apology and recommended Apple’s users to opt for Google and Nokia mapping applications instead, till Apple improved its own.
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