Virtual Maps Expand Our World

From the Eiffel Tower to the Great Wall of China, Google has mapped nearly the entire planet. Thanks to 3D imaging and upgraded camera technology, Google is putting cameras in places we’ve never seen.

Google is constantly looking for ways to help us explore the world around us. Over the years they’ve used cars, bikes and trolleys to get a great view of nearly every nook and cranny in the entire world.

“Our goal is to build a dynamic map, that is changing as the world changes around it,” says Manik Gupta of Google.

And now Google has the Trekker, a backpack that lets them explore on foot. This enhances the ability to map places such as the Grand Canyon.

According to Michael Weiss-Malik, “the trick that google has is we do a great job of stitching it all together and producing one giant picture of the whole planet.”

Google Earth Mobile will let you explore major cities in 3D thanks to technology that makes models from images captured by low flying planes.

Google’s even going inside! “It’s basically the same thing as Google Street View, but it’s inside businesses.” says Weiss-Malik.

Photographers like Carl Afable are working with businesses to take beautiful pictures and turn them into virtual tours. Said Afable, “A lot of people look at reviews. They look up what people saw on Twitter, but this gives them a different dimension. They can see what it’s like to actually walk around.”
                           
Businesses pay about five hundred dollars to get photographed. Google’s special technology pieces the pictures together and blurs out private details such as faces.

It’s almost like being there. Minus the food.

Apple is also diving into the mapping wold. The company is dropping Google Maps from the iPhone and replacing it with their own brand new 3-D maps app.

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