Google began rolling out new high-resolution 3D imagery today on both Google Maps and Google Earth, starting with New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. The company is promising more cities will get the same treatment next year.
Here’s an after-and-before shot of the Statue of Liberty in New York City (new on the left, old on the right):
And here’s San Francisco’s City Hall (new on the left, old on the right):
Google says this newest high-resolution 3D imagery is possible thanks to the use of both better cameras and better algorithms. The company has been able to reconstruct these cities in 3D with higher fidelity and “a new level of realism.”
The best part of this update is that it should work on your smartphone or tablet as well (as long as you don’t have very outdated software or hardware). It’s great to see Google support mobile devices from the get-go.
Just two months ago, Google updated Google Earth for Android with new 3D rendering technology, overhauling the system for the first time since the service launched more than 10 years ago. The company also promised the new version of the app would start receiving basemap updates at the same time as Google Maps, meaning information like place names, roads, and businesses would be available on your mobile device much faster than before.