Major update to Google Maps, primarly with StreetView

Hot on the heels of its arrival on the iPhone, the web interface of Google Maps has just received a major overhaul.  In particular, the handling of StreetView is much different.

Google Maps Mania has a great overview of the changes, as does the video below.  Check it out!

StreetView comes to the iPhone

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the new firmware update today for the iPhone (version 2.2) includes Google StreetView.  I’m still loading the update on my phone, but I’m expecting good things.  As with Google Earth for the iPhone, I would think that the multi-touch input will work very well with StreetView.  We’ll see.

In the meantime, here’s a quick screenshot from CrunchGear.


Update: How to access StreetView

While the implementation of StreetView on the iPhone is great (pinch, drag, etc), accessing it is a bit tricky.  To get into Streetview:

  • Drop a pin somewhere on the map, or search for a location.
  • Tap on the pin to bring up the info window.
  • Click the little red icon on the left to access StreetView.
This obviously only works for locations that have StreetView, and the phone doesn’t show you those locations.  I’d love for them to add the blue street outlines like they have on the web version of StreetView.  In any case, this is a bizarre way to have to access it, but it’s great once you get in there.

Google releases SketchUp 7

Google has just released version 7 of SketchUp, their excellent 3D modelling tool.  They’ve added a variety of tools at both ends of their userbase — it’s easier to get started, but it’s also more powerful for their advanced users.  Here’s a short video showing some of the new features:

For more information about this release, visit the official Google blog, the Google Earth Blog or Ogle Earth.

A few new 3D cities in Google Earth

As reported by the Google Earth Blog, there are a few new 3D cities in Google Earth — Pittsburgh, PA and Seattle, WA.  There may be others, but those are the two that have been found so far.

I’ll keep poking around see if any other cities have fresh 3D imagery in them.  Here’s a shot from Pittsburgh, which looks great.

Amazing 3D recreation of Ancient Rome in Google Earth

Google is about to unveil a new layer for Google Earth that shows over 5700 3D buildings from the city of Rome, circa 320 AD.  This is based at least in part from the model of the city we showed you last year from the University of Virginia.  If nothing else, they’re both based off the the “Plastico di Roma Antica”, a highly detailed plaster version of Rome that was built in the 1970’s.

The layer is not yet available, but will be found under “Gallery –> Ancient Rome 3D” when it’s released.  You can find much more info about this layer at the Google Earth Blog, the Official Google Blog, Google’s new Ancient Rome page, or the video below.

MapQuest adds more new (old) features

As their lead over Google Maps continues to dwindle, MapQuest has rolled out a few more new features.  By “new”, I mean new to MapQuest, not new to online mapping.

In this case, the new feature is draggable route changing.  This is almost identical to the feature that Google released about 16 months ago.

It’s a good move by MapQuest.  Before they can really try to innovate, they need to catch up first.  This is another step toward that goal.  I still think they’re toast in the long run, but it’s nice to see them continue to work hard to get caught back up.

Huge imagery release for Virtual Earth

Microsoft has rolled out another enormous imagery release for Virtual Earth.  Details can be found here, but the quick version includes:



  • Spain
  • Japan
Obliques (Bird’s Eye)
  • United States
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Luxembourg
Sadly, once again, there doesn’t appear to be any new 3D buildings.  C’mon Microsoft — those “version 2″ cities are amazing and we want more of them!

StreetView released for Washington DC, Seattle and Baltimore

Very timely.  On election day here in the US, Google has released StreetView for Washington, DC, along with Seattle, WA and Baltimore, MD.

The Google Earth Blog has a nice write-up about the new coverage and we’ll post our finds in the GEH StreetView database as we come across noteworthy locations.  A few already submitted include the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the White House.  Have fun!