So, you think you've seen it all when it comes to cool mapping services, yes? Think Google Maps, Bing Maps or Google Earth are the cream of the crop, no? Time for a reality check, seriously.
Enter mind-blowing 3D mapping technology from Swedish startup C3 Technologies, the company that showcased their 3D maps on iPad at the CES show. Unlike your Ma and Pa's maps, C3 Technologies calculates the terrain and buildings directly from aerial images. The approach takes into account the positions and angles of the cameras that took aerial images in order to give each pixel its geographical position with very high accuracy.
When we say high precision, we mean it hundred percent because C3 maps incorporate recently declassified missile targeting technology by Saab, a well-known Swedish aerospace company. As a result of all this, you get military-grade, pixel-perfect realistic representation of the terrain that can be rotated and paned around to a stunning effect. And at CES, they showed off 3D view of San Francisco running surprisingly smoothly on an iPad, seen below.
In addition to 3D maps, C3 also makes awesome street level imagery captured using "an advanced multiple camera system with overlapping viewing angles to capture the entire surroundings in stereo." Topping it all off are incredible interior views of restaurants, hotels and other points of interest that can be found along the street.
These panoramas are based on HDR imagery, as seen in the above screenshot, and can incorporate room navigation, 3D menus and banners, overview maps and other interactive features. Best of all, C3 has released its technology via an SDK so other parties can incorporate it in navigation apps and other services. The below video depicts 3D map of Hoover Dam and you can check out the clip of 3D Oslo map on YouTube as well.
Itching to take C3 maps for a spin? Check out 3D views of London's Trafford Stadium, Leeds Town Hall or royal Buckingham Palace in the heart of Westminster, courtesy of the Yell.com service (Flash plug-in is required). When the map loads, hit the 3D button and enjoy three-dimensional maps unlike anything you've seen before.