We told you about Map Diving last week. It’s a skydiving simulator created by Instrument, a Portland tech startup. We finally got to see it action at Google I/O, and yours truly even gave it a shot. They created this simulator using Google Maps and it’s pretty darn cool. Don’t worry, everyone will get a chance to try it out because it will land on Chrome Experiments soon. When that happens, you won’t use your body, but you will be able to use your tablet’s accelerometer to control the skydiver that’s on your desktop. Hit the break for the video and to find out why I never took up skydiving.
Google’s new Maps feature that we told about earlier today is officially a reality. So many things to list and such little brain power to remember them all. Let’s try and cover the stuff that got the most reaction from the crowd. There have been some major improvements to the 3D rendering. Getting to see St. Peter’s Basilica in 3D at I/O on Google Maps is excellent, but what really took the cake was the integration of user photos of the Basilica. By clicking on a user submitted Geo-tagged photo, Google Maps now helps to bring the interior of the Basilica on other wonders of the world right into your house through the browser.
And of course like all of the other neat services, Google Maps can now become more personalized as you use it more and more. Picture this: you see a restaurant that may be of interest to you in a particular area, so Google Maps will showcase only the important items like specific roads or landmarks it is for you to get to the restaurant, so Maps will only show the information to you that matters most. Oh and you have friends that may +1 a restaurant or locale, so Google Maps will begin offering you recommendations based off of your friends’ interests. Pretty cool indeed. So the more you interact with the map, the better it gets. When you set your Home and Work locations, star favorite places, write reviews and share with friends, Google Maps will build even more useful maps with recommendations for places you might enjoy.
Google has been rumored to be working on a new version to Google Maps and last night the world stumbled across a sign-up page for it, giving the rumor more credence. With this discovery, we now have an idea of what Google has in store for us with the new version. Even though the sign-up page was removed just as quickly as it went up, some pictures and information was still gathered from it. In the pictures, we can see that Google’s new version of Maps is taking on the Google Now card look, as well as improving areas of functionality. » Read the rest
Google has been working hard at bringing public transportation information to its Google Maps app over the past year. They’ve expanded coverage for New York’s Subway (MTA) system while adding information for Salt Lake City and Washington D.C. Those in New York will now see departure times for seven of the subway lines. If you’re in Salt Lake City you’ll be able to see the bus and tram (UTA) schedule updated in real time. People who use D.C.’s Metrorail will be able to see live service alerts. These alerts include scheduled track work as well as unplanned delays straight from Metrorail’s Control Center. So if you live or travel in these areas make sure you download Google Maps as you’ll be able to take advantage of this real time updating travel information.
source: Google Lat Long Blog
Ski fans have a new tool available to help them find the best downhill routes at some of the top ski resorts in the U.S. and Canada. Google Maps announced the availability of run and lift maps within their product for 38 locations like Aspen Mountain, Mammoth Mountain, or Stowe Mountain Resort. The information can be accessed on both smartphones, Android and iOS powered, as well as through Google Maps on the desktop. Ski lifts are marked with red dotted lines while the slopes show as blue, green and black solid lines. Hit the source link for a list of the resorts that are available.
source: Google LatLong Blog
We’ve told you about how us Android users use Facebook more than iOS users— and now it appears that we use Facebook most among the apps found on our mobile devices. According to a recent ComScore study, mobile users tended to use Facebook more than Google Maps between March and December of 2012, based off of the monthly mobile usage trends. What’s even more astounding is the fact that Facebook consistently ranked first in terms of mobile app engagement— meaning among all the apps available on devices, most people spent their time using the Facebook app compared to everything else, including Google Maps, Gmail and Instagram.
So while Facebook and Google Maps ranked tops among all the apps out there for mobile users— ComScore is quick to highlight that there’s a possibility in 2013 that we may see different apps out there challenge for the top spot like Netflix or Twitter apps. Regardless— 2013 should be an exciting year for the usage of apps on our mobile devices.
While Google’s Eric Schmidt may have once served on the board of directors at Apple, that apparently hasn’t affected his impartiality. The search giant’s executive chairman took a direct shot at Apple today in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, sending the Cupertino company a personal message, letting them know that the current way they are conducting business is laughingly based on a “teenage model of competition,” as the press would like to put it.
Sure, most have the world has been utilizing Google’s free turn-by-turn navigation via Google Maps for years, but until now users south of the border have been left out of the action. Well, that’s changing today as Google has announced that Google Maps Navigation is now available to users in Mexico, albeit in beta.
Much like its other-wordly counterparts, the Google Maps app features full turn-by-turn directions, directions by point of interest, Spanish-language voice search, voice playback and even real-time traffic updates.
Users will need to be running at least Android 2.2 Froyo to take full advantage of Google’s new application. Those who fit the bill can head to the Play Store to find the official download.
Android users finally have a solid alternative to Google’s Map Navigation app. Famed navigation company TomTom has launched its navigation service on Android and aims to bring something that Google Map Navigation can’t do— offline use. This is done by downloading and storing maps on your Android device of choice, meaning users will be able to download maps that covers the US, UK & Ireland, Europe, South Africa, and South East Asia for starters. Each map will allow users to have special features such as IQ Routes and spoken street names.
As exciting as the app’s release is, there are a couple of major observations to note. The app itself costs $49.99, while each map can range from $39 to $79.99— though TomTom does promise free lifetime updates. Another catch is well… the app isn’t compatible with
most popular many devices. Early reports indicate the app is currently not compatible with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X & One S or Sony’s Xperia line. Heck– I found the app isn’t even compatible with my Galaxy Nexus. Hopefully TomTom will work out its kinks and get the app to be compatible with most devices sooner than later.
Head on down to the Play Store to see if your phone is compatible with the app or not.
You’ve got to admit, the timing of adding a one-of-a-kind feature in Google Maps couldn’t have been timed better after that dismal iOS attempt at a map app. In a partnership with Catlin Seaview Survey, Google has ironically added some eye-popping underwater locations to its “Street View” feature. Google has updated this feature to include underwater locales such as Great Barrier Reef, Hanauma Bay in Hawaii, additional sites in Australia, the Philippines and more. The images themselves were captured with a special, 360-degree camera of which only two exist in the world. Go ahead, dive in to this new feature. It should prove to be both entertaining and educational. After you’ve put it through its paces, let us know what you think.
source: Google Blog