The week in Google Earth news

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More aerial views; National Geographic app; Google Maps for the indoors

A few cool things to point you toward today:

More Cities get “Aerial View” in Google Maps — Portland, OR and Sacramento and Oakland, CA all have new “bird’s eye” imagery from Google.

National Geographic launches iPhone app — It allows a variety of mapping sources, styles and other cool stuff.

Micello Launches “Google Maps for the Indoors” — This thing could be very cool if they can expand their coverage.  They have “over 250″ maps so far, but none on the eastern half of the US.

Bing releases iPhone app with nice Maps implementation

Microsoft just released the “Bing” application for iPhone and it is a solid effort.  It was voice search that is similar to the Google app, and Maps implementation that is similar to Google Maps on the phone.

It’s a free app, so it’s certainly worth downloading and trying out.  Chris Pendleton has a nice writeup of it on the Bing Community blog, where he highlights some the new features on it.  Most of the features are similar to the pre-installed Google Maps, but the voice search in Bing Maps is a slick feature that Google Maps doesn’t have.  The rest of the features are almost identical to the Google Maps app.

So which should you use? It depends what you do with it.  In my case, I typically use it for real-time traffic.  I’ll occasionally do a search on it, but usually just want to see which which interstate I should avoid.  Below is a side-by-side look at the two apps showing real-time traffic around Atlanta.  Google Maps is on the left, Bing on the right:


It’s not even close!  Bing has all kinds of shading and blurring, which looks very nice, but makes it a pain to see what the colors are.  Is that a yellow, or the road color?  Is that orange in there?  It’s quite a mess.

Google’s may look more childish, but it’s far easier to see.  If I want a quick look at the traffic, I’ve got it.

The Bing app is pretty great, and overall I’m very impressed with it.  However, I’ll keep using Google Maps (for now), simply because it does a better job for what I need.

StreetView arrives on S60 and Windows Mobile

Wow, Google is going nuts with StreetView lately.  Within the last month they’ve added support for the iPhone, revamped the web interface, introduced imagery for New Zealand, doubled the data in the US, and now they’ve brought out an updated client (version 2.3) of Google Maps Mobile for Nokia S60 (N95) and Windows Mobile phones.

In addition to StreetView, version 2.3 of GMM also brings walking directions, transit alerts, user reviews and a brand new interface.

Here is a short video of the changes, highlighted on a BlackBerry:

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 Earth has arrived on the iPhone

Somewhat out of the blue, though not totally unexpected after we saw EarthScape, Google Earth has been released for the iPhone!

It’s still being rolled out (Australia and Japan can get it now), and it’s not available for my area yet.  I’ll post more details once I get it.

A little more info can be found on the Google Earth Blog, or you can check out the screenshots below.

StreetView coming to the iPhone and to Singapore

A couple of good pieces of news for StreetView fans.  Somewhat unsurprisingly, StreetView is apparently making it’s way onto the next firmware release (v2.2) for the iPhone.  Considering it’s already on Google Maps Mobile and on Android, this wasn’t a shocker.  Still, it’s nice to know it’s coming soon.

Also, CNET is reporting that Google StreetView cars have been spotted in Singapore, and Google has confirmed that StreetView: Singapore will be here “in the coming months”.

Continuing to expand StreetView, both in terms of coverage areas and supported devices, will only serve to make it that much more useful for all of us.

Google Earth Hacks mobile and The Amazing Race 13

A couple of fun toys for today.  I’ve created a mobile version of Google Earth Hacks, allowing you to view about 80% of the files (18,000 or so) on the go.  It works best on the iPhone, taking advantage of the built-in Google Maps, but should work on any recent phone.  Get details here, or simply visit on your phone.

Also, my wife and I are pretty big fans of The Amazing Race, so I’ve been working on a rather comprehensive mash-up for the show.  You can read about it here, view the full map here, or just play with the embedded version below.

If you’re a fan of the show, it’s a neat way to see all of the amazing places that the contestants get to travel to.

View Larger Map

MapQuest 4 Mobile now available for Blackberry

MapQuest has just launched the beta of MapQuest 4 Mobile for a few Blackberry handsets.  It looks very much like all of MapQuest’s other recent launches — very nice, but nothing new.

Some of the features include things like “maps” (including aerial imagery), “directions”, “search”, “traffic” and “find me” (to track you along a route.  Certainly nice features for a handset, but nothing new.

Still, if you have a Blackberry it’s probably worth giving it a shot.  It’s currently compatible with the BlackBerry 8830 on Sprint and the Blackberry 8800, 8820 and 8310 on AT&T.  Of course, “support for additional handsets is coming soon.”  To get it, simply point your phone to to get started.

Google Maps Mobile gets StreetView

StreetView has come to Google Maps Mobile! This should prove to be a very useful addition, since many people use GMM when trying to find a location.  Having a street-level view of their destination will be great!

In addition to StreetView, the mobile versions now have walking directions and business reviews as well.

The software is available for: Blackberry and “many Java-enabled phones”.  The software has not yet been updated for Symbian devices (like the Nokia N95), Windows Mobile devices or the Apple iPhone.

To download it for your phone, simply visit

Here is a short video showing off the new features:

(via LatLong blog)