Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Google Maps is Going Into the Woods

Today, was supposed to be the day that Google revolutionized mapping with the release of new Google Maps features. While their announcement today wasn't as exciting as I hoped, I was hoping for new map creation tools, they did unveil some interesting new things.

As someone who really enjoys spending time in the great outdoors (I live in a town of 650), I was happy to read that Google Maps Street View is taking to the woods. Street View Trekker is Google's new backpack-mounted equipment that will capture "Street Views" of trails in places like the Grand Canyon and other national parks.

Android users will be happy to learn that soon you will be able to Google Maps will be available for offline use on your devices.

Finally, new 3D imagery is being rolled-out for Google Earth and Google Maps. The imagery is based on the pictures captured by Google for use in their 45 degree views. The video below gives a good, quick demonstration of this imagery.

Applications for Education
I'm excited about the prospect of having Street View imagery of the trails in national parks. The current Street View imagery in national parks is limited to park roads. Being able to see trail imagery will provide students with a better look at the nature of national parks.