Google has demonstrated its new 3D mapping system called Tour Guide which will use its own library of aerial imagery to build fully-modelled 3D cities.
The search giant plans to hire a fleet of aircraft to map cities containing 300 million people across the world with high resolution cameras shooting down at 45 degrees to capture building appearances.
Google revealed details about its new Street View trolley cart system which can be used to capture images from inside buildings, like art galleries and airports. It also unveiled its backpack Street View camera system for capturing images from hiking trails, ski slopes, and other areas accessible only on foot. These new Street View vehicles join the Google fleet of cars, tricycles, and snowmobiles around the world.
Museums and national monuments will also be scanned but with limitations. McClendon specified that remote drones wouldn’t be used to capture footage, saying that the use of such aircraft was still being sorted out and it was a “can of worms” Google didn’t want to get into.
Google’s StreetView cars have also extended their reach by covering five million miles of tarmac, creating an archive of 20 petabytes of information.
Travelers who are worried about high roaming data charges will also be able to download maps in the next few months. These can cover street-by-street detail and will work with GPS systems to finally replace paper maps, according to a Google team member. But this feature is only available to Android users.
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