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Google Maps heading to new directions (pictures)

Today, Google unveiled three major features for Google Maps, both in its desktop and mobile form.

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Lynn_La2.jpg

Lynn La

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1 of 8 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

A look at Google Map's new features

Today, Google unveiled three new pioneering features coming to Google Maps, which promise to improve the service's user experience and scope: offline maps, more Street View shots, and better 3D imaging.
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Saving maps for offline use

The capability to save maps offline is coming soon to Google Maps Android.
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3 of 8 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

London in your phone

Users can now download an entire street map (London is pictured above) and refer to it without the need for an Internet connection.
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Improving Street View with the Trekker

Luc Vincent, engineering director of Google Street View, shows off "The Trekker," a camera backpack that weighs 40 pounds and runs on two lithium ion batteries.
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Going for a hike

The Trekker will bring new locations to Street View once previously thought of as inaccessible, from the hiking trails in Yosemite to the alleyways of Venice.
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6 of 8 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Better 3D imaging

Using planes flying in tight patterns, Google hopes to improve its Google Maps 3D feature by equipping these planes with its own hardware and having them take oblique image photos.
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7 of 8 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Reconstructing City Hall

Using stereophotogrammetry, Google can reconstruct an entire city (San Francisco's City Hall is seen here) in 3D.
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A digital aerial view

After generating a textured 3D mesh for each building, Google's 3D imagery is complete and the company promises more improvements in details and consistency.

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