Tag Archives | maps

C3’s Astonishing 3D Model Technology–Now Part of Apple?

In March of 2010, I went to a tech conference and saw a Swedish company called C3 Technologies demo its system for turning aerial photographs of cities into 3D worlds, with very little human intervention required. The video I linked to in the original post has disappeared from YouTube, but here’s another one:

I said in that post that C3’s work knocked my socks off and that I couldn’t wait to see it show up in commercial products. Now it sounds like it might make its way into the iPhone and iPad: 9to5 Mac’s Mark Gurman is reporting that Apple has bought C3. If it has, it’s acquired itself some amazing technology.

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New Google Earth Recreates Your Adventures

Google is unleashing a new version of Google Earth, version 5.2, today. It’s the biggest update since Earth 5.0 added the oceans and Mars in February of 2009–and while it’s not that big, it’s got one major cool new feature and one modest-but-useful one. Google gave me a sneak peek of the new version last week.

The major cool new feature is aimed at folks who like to go adventuring and take a GPS navigation handheld along. If you tote a GPS unit such as the ones from Garmin and Magellan to track a hike, bike ride, sailing trip, or any other excursion, you can transfer the data to Google Earth once you’re home. In the past, doing so involved creating thousands of points of geographic information, but the new version of the software can create simpler plots of where you were at any given point in time. And it lets you view this data as birds-eye animations that track where you went, recreated with Earth’s wealth of geographic photography and 3D imagery. You can also share the reconstructions with other Google Earth users or publish them using the embeddable version of Earth.

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Bing Maps’ New Beta: Interesting, Promising, Erratic

At a press event in San Francisco this morning, Microsoft demonstrated recent, brand-new, and upcoming features it’s adding to its Bing search engine. The big news: The company is launching a beta of a major upgrade to Bing Maps. The beta is available here–and for the sake of comparison, here’s the existing version of Bing Maps, which remains the default.

From my experience so far, the new Bing Maps may be a true beta in the “we’re still working on making it work” sense: It sometimes performed very slowly, or conked out altogether. (Disclosure: I’m trying it on an EVDO connection, which probably doesn’t help.) The new version requires Microsoft’s SilverLight browser plug-in to work, which will be a source of controversy: There are folks who dislike plug-ins in general, and some who have a particular distaste for SilverLight. And since SilverLight is far from universal, there’s a good chance you’ll need to install it before you can test-drive the new Bing Maps.

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