Updated: 3D Buildings in Google Maps for iPhone 2.1?!

UPDATE: Our ace commenters point out this is something Google has been pushing for a while now, pre-2.1, although it may be slowly moving across the US and hasn't been getting tons of attention everywhere yet. As the effect is likely part of the image downloads, Google can probably push new images any time they like, and not have it bound to any specific point release, so that makes the kind of sense that does. Still, pretty awesome feature!

Original post:

Eagle-eyed reader Gregory just sent this in and as Neo would surely say -- WHOA!

Looks like for San Francisco, which is pretty much home turf for both Google and Apple, the built in iPhone Maps App now boasts 3D buildings! The renderings are in Map mode (Satellite and Hybrid modes have photographic buildings, after all!) and are pretty dang spiffy if you ask us.

Now, while I can see them if I search for San Fran, when I search for my hometown of Montreal, I get no such love. How about you and your city? Got 3D?

Thanks Gregory!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Updated: 3D Buildings in Google Maps for iPhone 2.1?!


I saw this while in downtown Cincinnati almost four weeks ago. Not new...but probably rolling out across cities and just being noticed.

Since the maps are image downloads, it probably makes sense they could roll out whenever Google wants, rather than part of firmware packages.
Of course, if they've been out that long, and I still don't have them in Montreal, I'm even more bummed. It's not like Canada has a lot of cities anyway. Where's the love? :)

Downtown Denver is there! It's also worth noting that not ALL of SF has the buildings either. Looks like their just putting it in downtown areas at first. It's pretty cool though!

Doesn't look like Toronto has this feature right now... and if anywhere would have it, it would be Toronto.
Come-on Google... where's the maple leaf love? :)

My hometown Detroit, MI has the buildings in 3d in the downtown area. Orlando, FL didn't but I don't know the downtown area very well. UCF Orlando doesn't have 3d.

Atlanta has 3D buildings! Too bad I live in the suburbs next to Atlanta. It would be awesome if the 3D buildings had names though...

Same for Minneapolis - if you zoom in enough you see them - however it does not seem current. Both the Minneapolis Central Library and the Guthrie Theater - two new large buidlings - opened two years ago - are not shown on the map.

Got them in Philly too....not sure if it's new or not, but I can't remember seeing them before.

Portland Oregon is in 3D until you leave the Downtown and Pearl districts. It is somewhat out of date however; my 18 story condo was built 2 years ago and it still shows the much smaller footprint of the building it replaced.

This is a feature of Google Maps and is not related to any changes to the iPhone - you'll find the same images at maps.google.com.

St. Louis is 3d - as it also was in google earth.. So I'm guessing they are just passing that along .. Bummed that street view hasn't also passed to iPhone maps

Boston is in 3D. I wish there were 2-3 more levels of zoom so we could use inter-building maps. Then I could find the floor and room for a meeting, not just the street address.

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