Google expands 45-degree maps as Apple stumbles
While Apple apologizes for glitches in its new iOS Maps app, Google Maps is expanding its support for 45-degree viewing angles and high-resolution imagery.
With 45-degree imagery, users can view areas at an angle as they zoom in. Google debuted this feature in March for about 1,000 landmarks around the world, and has now expanded the feature to cover 51 cities, including 37 cities in the United States.
The 45-degree images may be a precursor to full-blown 3D flyovers, which are a hallmark feature in Apple's iOS 6 Maps app. 3D flyovers are already available in Google Earth, so it's possible that the feature will eventually make its way to Google Maps.
In addition to the new viewing angles, Google also updated its high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery in 17 cities and 112 regions.
Of course, Google doesn't mention Apple's mapping troubles in its announcement of the new imagery, and the timing could just be a coincidence, as the company regularly adds new features to its mapping apps. But at the very least, it's a reminder that competition for mapping supremacy will only get fiercer now that Apple's stepped into the ring.