"As we go about our daily travels, we often rely on buildings to orient ourselves, locate landmarks and navigate from place to place," Google Maps Engineering Manager Bobby Parikh wrote in a blog post today. "This expansion is part of our ongoing effort to provide you with maps that are as comprehensive as possible."
All of the building images also come with height information, which was created by aerial imagery combined with computer vision techniques in order to produce the building shapes. "This process enables us to provide more building footprints and a more comprehensive and detailed map than ever before," Parikh said."Apple has learned that maps are hard," Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said during an interview last week. He added that Google had spent over five years investing in its map app, while Apple has been in catch-up mode. "We invested hundred of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive-by work, and we think we have the best product in the industry."