Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:19 UTC
Google Google held its curious little Maps event today (and WWDC is right around the corner, surely a coincidence, is it not?), showing off some new stuff in maps. While digital maps are one big snore to me (old maps fascinate me to no end, though), they did have one cool thing to show off: full 3D mapping, which they're adding to Google Earth, also for mobile devices. It'll arrive over the coming weeks. The race is on: will Apple's 3D map thing arrive before, or after "the coming weeks"?
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Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

The worst is that standard multi-touch controls do not properly handle 3D rotations. They only deal well with zooming and rotations along an axis that is perpendicular to the screen.

So either this feature will be relatively useless, as users cannot really benefit from the extra depth, or software engineers will try to use nonstandard gestures (e.g. three-finger swipes) to handle 3D rotations and it might turn out to be a usability disaster instead ("Oh, great, I don't know how I did that, now how can I go back to a top view ?")

I'm not optimistic.

Edited 2012-06-07 14:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There's always accelerometer / gyroscope, with which you can "look around" using the phone as a visor of sorts; like already in streetview.
Perhaps could map also to 3D map rotations.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I'm not sure that looking around would be very practical for a maps app. I don't know how others use those, but myself I mainly need it while walking, sitting in a bus/train, or cycling, and in those situations waving my arm across wide angles definitely wouldn't be a satisfactory option.

Maybe they could try something based on screen tilting, kind of like that gimmicky animation of the stock photo gallery app on Android, but on shiny LCD screens things can quickly become unreadable when you try that on a sunny day...

Edited 2012-06-08 12:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1