Google announces new 3D mapping features, offline maps and more [video]

During its “next dimension” press conference on Wednesday, Google announced a host of new features and improvements for its Google Maps service. The Mountain View-based company revealed a brand new 3D mapping feature for Google Earth that utilizes imagery captured by special airplanes equipped with Street View-like 3D cameras to create a virtual fly over of select locations. This feature, which will be completed in metro areas first, allows users to circle around locations, rendering everything in 3D. Google also revealed a new “Tour Guide” feature, which lets users discover new locations through its Earth service. The enhanced 3D maps will be coming to both Android and iOS devices in the future, as will an offline mode of Google Maps for Android. The announcement comes only days before Apple is rumored to debut its own 3D maps service at its WWDC on June 11th. A video demonstration follows below.

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