Dec 17th, 2010

We’ve all been there. A slow data connection leaving us with patchy visions of the world around us thanks to missing tiles in Google Maps for mobile. The excruciating frustration of knowing the part of the map you need to see happen to be greyed-out. Google felt your pain, so they completely overhauled the way Maps draws up its maps for mobile. The key is the implementation of vector graphics.


While the full details are actually pretty interesting, it’s a lot more than I can completely explain here. I will just put it this way: Maps went from needing 360 billion tiles to cover the world in 20 static zoom levels to buttery smooth, orientation friendly vector graphics that get drawn from scratch to suit the part of the world you need to see. This may have been an issue before, but the current generation of high-end smartphones make the new method more efficient. And zooms are no longer locked in at static levels (see the comparison above with the older version on the left and vector graphics on the right).

If you want to know exactly how Google made this happen, I recommend reading the source link below. And then be glad at all the hard work these people sweat over to finding information so easy for the rest of us.

[via Google]