Jun 6th, 2012

Google have today announced that Google Earth will be getting full-3D maps in the coming weeks. The 3D imaging process is so detailed that, in some cities (San Francisco being an example), every building will have its own 3D model, and even trees will pop out at you. We’ll hopefully see these features right alongside the newly-announced offline mode that was mentioned in the same press conference.

If you’re interested in how Google will get such detailed mapping done in reasonable amounts, they’ve mentioned that they have control of their own fleet of planes. Some of those planes are Google-owned and some are contracted for Google’s exclusive use, and they’re equipped with cameras that will take photos at a 45 degree angle overhead. If the result seen above is the product of that method, I’m thoroughly impressed. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple responds in 5 days’ time. [Gizmodo, image via Engadget]