Google Maps now displays cities in 3D

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Although Google Maps already provided a three-dimensional picture of cities, it did so with basic three-dimensional meshes and no textures until recently.

This image of London is neither a photograph nor a computer rendering. It’s a hybrid of the two, as well as the most recent addition to the Google Maps application, Google Maps. 

Google’s 3D city view
Image: Google Maps displays cities in 3D

Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, demonstrated this new “immersive view” during the opening speech of the Google I/O developer conference, which uses photographs taken at street level from the Street View tool to create three-dimensional models of cities that can be used to get a general idea of an area to be visited. 

Assume you’re planning a trip to London and want to know where to go and what to see. You can virtually fly over Westminster with a short search to get a close look at the neighborhood and the spectacular architecture of landmarks like Big Ben, “Miriam Daniel, vice president of Google Maps, explains. 

These 3D models feature traffic or bird motions for a more realistic look, and they are not limited to building exteriors. Exploring a location from a “drone” perspective can also give you an impression of what it’s like inside.

Screenshot of Google Map shows that 3D city view
Image: Google Map displays cities in 3D

Although Google Maps already provided a three-dimensional picture of cities, it did so with basic three-dimensional meshes and no textures until recently.

Google’s New Wallet

This isn’t the only Google feature that will change dramatically this year. The virtual wallet Google Wallet has been updated to include more than just credit cards. It will now be possible to handle gift cards, loyalty cards, vaccination certificates, and movie and concert tickets. In some countries, it may also be used to store digital versions of identification documents like driver’s licenses, as well as, in the future, NFC keys to open cars or doors. 

Despite the fact that it was created with that goal in mind, Google chose a few years ago to streamline the experience and focus it solely on payments, rebranding the tool Google Pay. Google has spotted an opportunity to revive the ancient concept of a virtual wallet now that third-party companies and government organizations are more open to the idea of using digital documents.

Aside from these new applications, the majority of Google I/first O’s conference was devoted to artificial intelligence capabilities that the firm is increasingly incorporating into its services and products. For example, Google Translate will soon support 22 more languages, and YouTube will bring automatically translated subtitles to mobile phones in 16 languages later this year. 

However, Google Workspace, a package of tools and services for businesses that includes the Google Meet video conferencing program, will benefit the most this year.

google map displays cities in 3D
Image: 3D View

Automatic transcription of meetings held using this tool will now be available via Google. People who are unable to attend a meeting will be able to learn what has been discussed in this manner. It will also generate summaries of the most significant points automatically, a function that has already begun to appear in Gmail and Google Docs. 

Google will also increase the quality of video and sound in meetings using artificial intelligence techniques. 

Poor lighting in spaces, especially at home, is one of the most common issues while holding video conferences. Portrait Light, a new feature, would illuminate the person’s face as if they were in front of a spotlight or ring of light. The algorithms used to capture the image have also been improved to accommodate a wider range of skin tones. 

De-reverberation, which automatically filters out echoes that occur when speaking in spaces with reflective surfaces, will also improve the sound quality at conferences.

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