Google Mapping San Francisco in 3D
Google has undertaken the task of mapping San Francisco: in 3D. According to a report in SiliconValleyWatcher, a specially designed truck is currently traversing the city, equipped with lasers and digital cameras in hopes that it will be able to create a realistic three-dimensional model of the city.
Google reportedly plans to expand this effort to other major cities if it is successful. Test runs of several streets within the city have yielded mixed results.
Cars and other obstructions -- such as people -- are causing problems with the lasers used to measure the buildings; however, Google hopes to iron out issues that will allow it to map streets in a single pass.
The results would eventually be added into Google Maps, the company's online mapping service with satellite imagery, for a more true to life representation of driving directions. The archive could supplement it's local business listings service, which has become a hot commodity to search engines as of late.
Amazon's A9.com search engine currently offers images of local storefronts, but pictures are relecated to 2D. Alongside business listings is a picture of the business with an option for "block view" that displays adjacent storefronts.