Brian McClendon, Vice President of Engineering for Google Maps, gives a behind-the-scenes look at how Google Maps are built and kept up-to-date at the Google offices in San Francisco (Photo : Reuters)
According to a recent article on CNET, Google isn't saying much about how it's going to rescue its mapping product from the expected upset of losing the Apple deal. All Google has said so far is that Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, will give a behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps and share their vision. They will also demo some of the newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go -- both physically and virtually.
Like Us on Facebook
Judging from the invitation of the discussion the thrust of the announcement to be a new, all-3D version of Google Maps that makes it more seamless to move from Google Earth's views, to the currently-flat (except for buildings) Maps, to Street View.
Now, If Google does nothing more than improve Maps on the Web and on Android devices, it can still make a big difference. On Android, Google still offers features Apple does not, like real-time, traffic-aware navigation, and a map view that's zoomable down to the street view level. Apple is likely to add competitive services, but Google's got a big head start.
Google has also rolled out maps of the insides of buildings. (That, by the way, is a nice potential revenue stream for the advertising team.)
Google can do more to make up for losing Apple's iPhone users. And keep in mind, it's not just losing end users, its losing data that they provide: the real-time location and speed information that makes traffic data work.
One of Google's strengths, something Apple doesn't have (but Microsoft does) is its ability to work well with other vendors and partners. Android may be a hot mess of fragmented handsets and multiple versions, but the operating system is everywhere because anyone in the mobile business can freely adopt it and screw it up to their heart's content.
The same thing is likely to happen in cars. Apple can't provide a built-in "iOS or iMaps like"experience in cars, since it demands too much control that auto makers are unlikely to grant.