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Google's 3D Helicopter View  (Source: gizmag.com)
The new 3D Helicopter View allows travelers to see a 3D preview of their route from a bird's-eye view

Google has released a new member to its Google Maps family: 3D Helicopter View.

Google Maps currently has 2D top-down view and 360-degree street-level view, but the new 3D Helicopter View allows travelers to see a 3D preview of their route from a bird's-eye view.

"Let's say you're planning a trip down the beautiful coast of California's Highway 1 and want to be able to see what the route really looks like," said Paul Yang, Google Maps engineer. "California's rugged coastline is not to be missed, but the top-down view really doesn't give you a good sense of what this majestic terrain is like. Using the 3D preview, however, you can get aerial view of the route, as if you were in a helicopter flying above the road."

Currently, it only works in a full browser with the Google Earth plugin. To see a certain route in 3D Helicopter View, make sure the Google Earth plugin is installed, and simply choose "Get directions" in Google Maps. Type in a desired origin and destination, then click the "3D" play button.

"You can pause the flight at any time by clicking anywhere in the 3D view or on the pause button in the lower left," said Yang. "While the flight is paused, you can explore the surrounding area in 3D by clicking and dragging the map. When you are ready to resume the flight, click on the play button in the lower left of the 3D view."

Sources: RedOrbit, Gizmag, Google LatLong



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Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By quiksilvr on 10/3/2011 10:46:11 AM , Rating: 2
My keyboard is covered with my brunch because of it.




RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By amanojaku on 10/3/2011 10:54:49 AM , Rating: 3
"Brunch"? Dude, this is a geek site; Martha Stewart doesn't visit. It's "second breakfast".


RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By Flunk on 10/3/2011 11:13:26 AM , Rating: 2
Brunch replaces breakfast and lunch, it's not second breakfast. Brunch is for lazy people, like me, although I personally prefer to eat lunner instead.


RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By cjohnson2136 on 10/3/2011 11:22:11 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly I eat Brunch most of the time because I typically don't wake up until later.


RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By omnicronx on 10/3/2011 12:26:00 PM , Rating: 3
Clearly you guys are only level 1 lazy..

Brunch is clearly after 11AM (any true lazyness master would know this)

The OP was eating breakfast, nothing more, nothing less!


RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By ppardee on 10/3/2011 3:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
By definition, the first meal you eat in a day is called breakfast, since the word itself means the meal used to break your overnight fasting. So you can't really replace breakfast with another meal since that meal would automatically become breakfast. Sort of like the way any jet the president is on becomes Air Force One.


RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By cjohnson2136 on 10/3/2011 3:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
Book definitions and how society defines it does not matter. If the first thing I ate was at 8pm at night would you call that breakfast or dinner. Pretty much all of society would call it dinner. Meals are defined by a general time line. Breakfast in the morning, Lunch around noon, Dinner in the evening.


RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By qwerty1 on 10/4/2011 1:12:55 AM , Rating: 2
Some people eat one meal a day, I call that a Blunder.

Breakfast
LUNch
DinnER


RE: Best. Thumbnail. Ever.
By DT_Reader on 10/3/2011 12:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer Elevenses. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevenses and note: I'm an American, not a Brit or a Hobbit :-)


How?
By DT_Reader on 10/3/2011 12:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Did they actually fly a helicopter over every possible route from every point A to every point B? If so, they've got too damn much money!

And did they tap into open WiFi hotspots along the way?




RE: How?
By jasonmicron on 10/3/2011 1:19:03 PM , Rating: 2
Nope - I'm testing it out and it's just the 3D view from Google Earth. Try doing a drive from Houston, TX. to Katy, TX. Booooooring.


RE: How?
By sorry dog on 10/4/2011 1:10:56 AM , Rating: 2
Drive from Downtown to Katy boring??

Not hardly as long as they include the 3D bedroom suite some mexican dumped in the center lane of I-10 or the 3D abandoned car in the left lane just after a blind rise.


This is new?
By lightfoot on 10/3/2011 12:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
How is this any different than the feature that has been in Google Earth since, well, forever?




RE: This is new?
By omnicronx on 10/3/2011 12:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Its integrated into your browser with the plugin, so you can use it as part of your normal maps search results, and perhaps embedded maps within websites.(or at least that is my understanding)


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