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December 7, 2010

Vector-Based Google Maps for Android

Google's Andy Rubin showed at the Dive Into Mobile conference an early prototype of a Motorola tablet running Android Honeycomb and demoed a new version of Google Maps for Android with vector-based maps and offline caching.

Engadget says that Google Maps 5.0 for Android will be available in the coming days, but not all Android devices will support the new features. "The biggest visual change is dynamic map drawing: vectors instead of flat images that scale without render hiccups and will show the buildings fleshed out for over 100 cities -- we gotta say, it looks great. Even more fun is that you can now use two fingers to tilt and rotate around the map (in addition to moving and pinch-to-zoom, of course). We've been told it's a much snappier experience, and the storage for these vectors is much smaller than the current images, which brings us to... offline caching. Maps will keep on file the locations that you go to (and search) most often, and it'll be able to reroute while offline in Navigation."

{ Thanks, Daniel and François. }


  1. Kick. Ass. Google rocks.

  2. Vector-Based Google Maps is a very innovative idea. Lets hope they allow the same in web-based Google Maps too :)

  3. Offline navigation is great. Offline navigation is a main reason currently why mobile is not able replace GPS devices.

  4. Nokia's Ovi Maps has had vector map rendering on mobile devices for ages. Caching and pre-loaded maps have also been there for quite a while. This sounds more like Google trying to catch up with Nokia on this particular advantage for mobile navigation. This move could be foreseen when they announced they would switch to their own map data for navigation.

  5. Great news! Hope offline maps will come fore all citys not just the 100+ "vectors" city's. Anyway when can I download the new version?

  6. the guy in this video is a major douche, and btw. that demo is all smoke and mirrors.. almost all of the new UI components were built on top of 2.2 for this demo. This is not truly 3.0/honeycomb, and as another person mentioned - Nokia has already been ahead with Ovi Maps. The douche in this video wouldn't even hand over the prototype device to the lady for more than a few seconds. He's not being stingy, he's afraid of blowing cover. motorola is just being sneaky, their devices really are not that great. Xoom sounds great and all but when motorola rushes this tablet release I think many of us will be disappointed.