The search engine group has been a leader in the use of geodata for mobile devices so far. But it is expected that apple will replace the current google maps on iphone and ipad with its own service.
Among the innovations at google are 3D representations of major cities in the mobile version of the google earth satellite imagery service, as the manager in charge, brian mcclendon, announced in san francisco. By the end of the year, numerous metropolitan regions with a total population of 300 million people will be explored in three-dimensional views, primarily in the USA, but also in europe.
Google invests "a lot of heart and soul in (…) maps that literally map the entire world, that are increasingly practical and yet easy to use," mcclendon wrote on the company’s blog.
Users are also expected to contribute to the greater accuracy of geographic data: to this end, google developed the map maker software in 2008, which enables map data to be easily captured and transmitted. It is now available in south africa and egypt and will be introduced in ten other countries in the coming weeks, including austria, belgium, denmark, liechtenstein, luxembourg and switzerland. Germany to follow in summer.
In the future, digital maps will also be available offline on cell phones with the android google system, for example, when there is no internet connection on public transport. This function is to be introduced in more than 100 countries in the next few weeks. For the google street view panorama service, the company announced a "trekker," a camera in a special backpack that captures views of the surrounding area outside of roads – as an example, mcclendon cited the grand canyon.