Update: Google Maps is bringing one of the best desktop features to mobile
Google Maps is about to make it even easier to check out new places. A new “Immersive View (opens in new tab)” has just been announced at Google I/O 2022 (opens in new tab), and is set to arrive later this year. It promises to give users the chance to explore a 3D-rendered version of big cities from within the Google Maps app.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s not that dissimilar to Apple Maps’ Flyover feature. The principle seems to be pretty much the same, letting you fly around a big city as if you were actually there. But there’s one thing Apple doesn’t have: the ability to view 3D models of interior locations.
But rather than using drones to fly around mapping restaurants or shopping malls, Google has put these together using neural rendering. That means Google is able to generate these 3D models of real locations from a collection of static photos.
That’s pretty amazing, when you think about it. You can head onto Google Maps, looking for a place to eat, and get a feel of what it’s like to be inside.
Immersive View will also be able display useful information, including live traffic and how busy specific locations are.
Details on the launch of this feature are pretty scarce right now. All Google revealed was that Immersive View will be rolling out in “select cities” later this year. So far London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo are included. We expect other major world cities will follow.
Google also revealed that eco-friendly routing, which is designed to improve your gas mileage, will be rolling out to more locations across the world — including Europe.
There’s plenty more happening at Google I/O 2022, and you can follow the news as it happens over on our Google I/O 2022 live blog.