Apple 3D maps release could blow Google Maps away

By Posted 1 Nov 2011, 14:34

One of the coolest features of the Google search engine is the Google Maps. Their revolutionary 3D views offer a way of experiencing roads in different parts of the world and have helped people locate destinations more easily. Now it seems that rival company Apple may be developing a 3D mapping system of their own that could just blow Google maps away.

Although nothing official has been announced, evidence suggesting that Apple may have a map service in the future has come from rumors of a recent acquisition of Swedish 3D mapping company, C3 as well as other related acquisitions and in-house development. According to PC Mag Apple has bought two mapping companies in about two years and may have just invested in a third.

The company C3 uses once classified military technology that allows for the capture of 3D rendering images of buildings and whole cities via special angled cameras equipped to planes. Chief Strategy Officer at C3 Paul Smith claims that ‘unlike Google or Bing, all of our maps are 360 degrees explorable… everything, every building, every tree, every landmark, from the city center to the suburbs.’

Further rumors have also suggested that the acquisition of C3 would have cost Apple somewhere in the region of $250 million. This is due to the Swedish company reportedly having previously splashed out $150 million initially to acquire a 57.8% share of C3 from Swedish defense company Saab AB. Job openings and patents also add to the evidence that Apple are indeed developing a 3D mapping service including a job titled ‘iOS Maps Application Developer’ and a patent from 2010 suggesting the company wanted to use iPhones to generate a 3D model of a place or an object.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of a map service from Apple? Do you think it would blow Google Maps away?