Just recently I presented a new Australian entrant into the online mapping game: NearMap, with a very impressive application for viewing high resolution, multi-directional aerial imagery. Today Google announced the release of Aerial View option for Google Map API that allows viewing objects on the ground from four different directions (actually 5, if you count top-down satellite image as well). Current coverage includes only San Jose and San Diego in California, USA but more locations will be added in the coming months.
Google ensured that the new functionality also works with existing overlays, like hybrid streets layer and other Google Maps services like driving directions. As Google engineers put it, “…this is a result of a lot of code and computing power that reprojects the imagery to make it easy to overlay data on the map given lat/lon locations like in any other Google Map type. The result is a great user experience together with easy display of data on the map.”
Microsoft was the first to introduce the concept of multi-directional aerial imagery in online mapping applications with its Bing Map Brid’s Eye view option. And Bing Map already has quite a good coverage of Australian capital cities.
First spotted on: Google Maps Mania