updated 01:01 pm EDT, Wed June 6, 2012
Live from the Google Maps Event
Google today announced a history and coming updates to its maps service.
Google today announced that it will offer off-line maps for Android devices. The new interface will allow users to select downloads of various cities and will provide estimates for the size of the download for both space and bandwidth limitations. Once downloaded, these off-line maps will allow users to locate and orient themselves using the built-in compasses of devices (a sample map of the London area was showed to be 2.9MB).
Google also announced that it will upgrade it's maps features with new interactive models/ 3D imagery of all cities, metros, and communities. Using Google-contracted/fleet of planes that fly over cities to capture both perpendicular and 45-degree oblique shots, Google can create modeled interactive buildings. The company expects that the 3D imagery and models will be available soon for both Android and iOS devices and that 300 million people-communities modeled by the end of the year. The company showed flyovers and 3D imagery of San Francisco and promised to deliver several more cities at launch (though would not confirm which cities).