What you’re seeing above is not a photograph of New York City. It looks like a photograph of New York City. It smells like a photograph of New York City. But can you pan, tilt, rotate and fly through a photograph? No, no you can’t. Hit the source link, though, and you can do all of those things with Ovi Maps’ 3D textured model of New York City. Yes. 3D textured model.
It actually looks like this has been out for a while. “A while”, in the tech world of course means “ten days, max”, but the Noisecast hasn’t covered it and, really, given our recent collective fascination with map services, it’s a wonder this one slipped under our radar.
Ovi Maps 3D, part of the Ovi Maps suite of products, is owned by Nokia. Nokia, of course, recently partnered with Microsoft to bring WP7 to its handsets and several billion dollars in cash monies to their pockets. In return, Microsoft is getting, among other things, access to plenty of Nokia’s mapping services and, if this is what they’re getting, they got a good deal.
Google Maps has been the reigning king of Android apps for a while now. It’s one of the most useful apps on the platform and is an understandable hook for users. If WP7 is going to get a shot at the action we’re seeing in Ovi Maps right now, though, we may have a maps war brewing on our hands. Google’s most recent major update brought 3D vector maps, but it’s clearly not quite the same as textured 3D models built with satellite imagery.
Of course, this is all just speculation. It’s not even certain that this kind of tech could be brought to WP7 devices. The data is loading at a pretty slow pace on the desktop I’m viewing it on. Part of the reason Google was able to bring 3D polygons of buildings to mobile devices is because vector data is so much smaller than raster data (it’s easier to draw lines than paint a picture). So, maybe we won’t be seeing it on our phones any time soon.
But, man. A phone with Xbox Live for gaming, Zune and Netflix for music and movies, and this as a first-party maps service? Wouldn’t that be something?
Source: Ovi Maps 3D