3D Maps: What's the point?

Foxdog175

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
124
0
Before you start calling me just another hater, I've been a major Apple fan for 20 years+.

That said, I just don't get it. What's the real-world use for 3D maps? Why spend (hundreds of?) millions of dollars developing 3D maps instead of competing with Google's street view (which is WAY quicker to load and much more useful)? I always used street view when I was driving to a new location so I knew exactly what the place looked like before I even got in my car. I could see the storefront and other stores around it making it very easy to find.

3D maps on the other hand are slow to load (even on my i5), from a bird's eye view (instead of a straight-on shot), and are available in what... .02% of the US?

While this new feature "looks cool", I fail to see its usefulness over something like street view.
 

TheRealDamager

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2011
1,043
11
I think its better than street view (I know many will disagree - I like how it helps you get a feeling for the actual look of an area. It is severely limited in coverage, however.
 

cpnotebook80

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2007
786
63
Toronto
I agree. Yes its cool to see it from above etc ooos and ahhs..but practicality, I can't point where I might find it useful. I don't have time to enjoy the view when im on the ground looking for that big fat burrito place :)
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,017
1,513
Hmm.. I'm already researching on a city we plan to take vacation. Cool to get to know it in advance.
 

Foxdog175

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
124
0
Hmm.. I'm already researching on a city we plan to take vacation. Cool to get to know it in advance.
This is where I'm lost. By "get to know it", what does that mean? How are you using 3D maps in your trip-planning? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to simply route an address than to look at buildings that have no actual data?

The only thing I see are buildings in the 3D maps...nothing I could use in the actual planning of a trip.

I'm starting to understand what people are saying about Apple adding eye-candy at the expense of functionality and usefulness.
 

Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
2,531
966
For me, the closer the rendering of an unfamiliar area is to the real world, the more comfortable I feel, especially driving. I've had turn-by-turn nav systems in my cars for >10 years, but I still use Google's Street View and 45 degree satellite views when I'm planning to go to an area for the first time. 3D maps are a step in the right direction, but only as long as coverage and accuracy are where they need to be.
 

SolRayz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2007
687
0
Ft. Lauderdale
Before you start calling me just another hater, I've been a major Apple fan for 20 years+.

That said, I just don't get it. What's the real-world use for 3D maps? Why spend (hundreds of?) millions of dollars developing 3D maps instead of competing with Google's street view (which is WAY quicker to load and much more useful)? I always used street view when I was driving to a new location so I knew exactly what the place looked like before I even got in my car. I could see the storefront and other stores around it making it very easy to find.

3D maps on the other hand are slow to load (even on my i5), from a bird's eye view (instead of a straight-on shot), and are available in what... .02% of the US?

While this new feature "looks cool", I fail to see its usefulness over something like street view.
Man...I couldn't agree with you more. It's pointless eye candy rubbish that will have no real world value. Besides robbing your time, battery life and cellular data, I can't see any purpose other than exciting the senses.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,206
2,100
While this new feature "looks cool", I fail to see its usefulness over something like street view.
Street view is a great tool for looking at your destination. For instance, I use the feature to see what the hotel looks like before booking.

But I find usability to be seriously lacking. If all you are looking at is just about a block or two worth of street views, it does what it needs to do. But a block or two (i.e., checking out the neighborhood), "driving" using street view can be very tedious affair.

Data quality and slower data load notwithstanding, flyover is a compromise between street view and satellite/hybrid view. It may not offer as much detail as street view, but I find the level of detail to be sufficient enough for finding my way around.

Having said that, I much prefer plain old vector standard view, in either 2D or 3D views.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,626
342
This is where I'm lost. By "get to know it", what does that mean? How are you using 3D maps in your trip-planning? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to simply route an address than to look at buildings that have no actual data?
If your trip planning and spacial interpretation is very analytical, then sure, I guess 2D flat maps will work fine.

Not everyone thinks that way though. While I can do it, I find it much easier if I can see the terrain of an area, including the sides of buildings, from a level that is closer to how I will be looking at them when I am actually there. Since I don't have wings and won't be directly flying over every place I visit, I will be looking at buildings from the side, and getting a general spatial sense of the building layout and appearance from that angle aids me greatly in my planning.

I'm starting to understand what people are saying about Apple adding eye-candy at the expense of functionality and usefulness.
Just because you can't see the utility in a feature, doesn't make it useless to everyone. Fortunately, you don't have to use it if you don't want to.
 

mnemonix

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2005
229
1
I find it much easier if I can see the terrain of an area, including the sides of buildings, from a level that is closer to how I will be looking at them when I am actually there.
And that right there is an argument in favour of Google Street View NOT Apple 3D maps which is useless unless you're a helicopter pilot or a 14 year old trying to impress others in the school playground with your phone.
 

sik08amg

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2012
202
24
Tampa, FL
I was always a fan of street view and I don't think there is currently anything comparable to it. I am really surprised it took Apple this long to start up on their own version of maps, but I do believe that in 5 years or so the apple 3D image quality will be right there with street view. The benefit in the future would be using an airplane instead of a car, which would be able to cover larger areas faster and always have up to date information. They have made a footprint but have a ton of work to do...
 

JoeBlow74

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2012
218
8
I also agree that 3D maps are totally pointless. Hey Apple and Google....I have an idea....make your maps accurate. What a concept huh??? Garmin has found a way to make accurate maps, why not you two.
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,017
1,513
This is where I'm lost. By "get to know it", what does that mean? How are you using 3D maps in your trip-planning? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to simply route an address than to look at buildings that have no actual data?

The only thing I see are buildings in the 3D maps...nothing I could use in the actual planning of a trip.

I'm starting to understand what people are saying about Apple adding eye-candy at the expense of functionality and usefulness.
I have some places I plan to visit in the city. Now I know where my hotels is, how to go to those places from my hotel (I test-fly to those :D) what it looks like around my hotel and places I want to go.. something like that. I already saw some interesting places I didn't plan to go but now will.
Love the new feature.
 

Telp

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2007
3,059
15
Sure, if they implement it before they get the basics down and working first. :rolleyes:
How far behind do you want Apple to be? Yes, maps is so terrible right now that 3D should be the last of their worries, but the 3D implementation, while sparse, is almost decent. Without 3D maps is nothing but a jumbled mess. Now it's a jumbled mess with 3D.
 

stickybuns

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2011
384
0
When visiting an unfamiliar city and needing to get from Point A to Point B, I like to park on the roof of the parking garage and figure out what my route will be. The 3D maps feel pretty similar, so I'll be using them as much as I can. When I compare the 2D map of Los Angeles to the 3D map, I find that I recognize things more easily with the 3D map.
 

dazed

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
888
165
I always used street view. Great way to find parkades etc. 3D doesn't seem that useful and feels like a gimmick.
 

virginblue4

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2012
1,923
454
United Kingdom
I understand people who say street view is useful (I never really used it) but I don't understand the people who say that normal satellite imagery is useful but 3D maps aren't. And the people who say "it's not helpful to me, I'm not Spider-Man".

Satellite imagery hardly gives an accurate view either as you don't look directly down onto a city, yet that is what the majority of people use.

I personally find flyover to be both a fun feature but also a useful tool.
 

Foxdog175

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
124
0
When visiting an unfamiliar city and needing to get from Point A to Point B, I like to park on the roof of the parking garage and figure out what my route will be.
Lol, what!? To get from "Point A" to "Point B", why wouldn't you simply route the address in your phone? How could you possibly find the best route by parking on the top of a parking garage, what with the building obstructions and the small chance that you'll be able to see every road leading to your destination?

I have to be getting trolled here...that's hilarious!:D

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Satellite imagery hardly gives an accurate view either as you don't look directly down onto a city, yet that is what the majority of people use.
This is a dreadful argument. Top-down views will always, always, always be the best and most efficient way to find routes. No other view can compare.

Why do you think road maps were designed with top down views? What other possible view could be more beneficial than a top-down view when routing an address? You can see the streets of an entire city all at once. :confused:
 

TheRealDamager

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2011
1,043
11
The problem with street view is that it's out of date quickly - how often do they take those shots? Not frequently enough for me to trust that what I'm seeing in street view reflects reality.
 

Foxdog175

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 3, 2008
124
0
The problem with street view is that it's out of date quickly - how often do they take those shots? Not frequently enough for me to trust that what I'm seeing in street view reflects reality.
That's true with any mapping service. Satellite images are typically years old and the same will be true once more locations have been created in 3D. C3 and Google aren't going to remap the cities in 3D every year.

The big question is, what's the most cost-effective and consumer-beneficial solution? Flying a plane/helicopter around every possible angle or driving a car down every road? I can't say for sure how they're mapping the cities in 3D, but I'd guess they're flying around them to capture everything.