Google Inc is deploying a fleet of small, camera-equipped airplanes above several cities to create a digital map of the world. Google plans to release the first three-dimensional maps for several cities by the end of the year.
By the end of the year, Google said it expects to have 3D map coverage for metropolitan areas with a combined population of 300 million people. The first 3D cityscape will be available within weeks.
The forthcoming 3D city maps will be part of the Google Earth software app available for mobile devices such as smartphones based on Google’s Android software and Apple’s iOS software.
The company also announced a version of Google maps for Android smartphones that allows users to access certain maps without an Internet connection.