If you are sunbathing around the pool and you spot a light plane overhead it could be Apple or Google taking a quick sneak peak for all to see.First it was Street View, now Apple and Google are set to go head to head in a battle to 3D Map Australian Cities using new mapping technology that show up objects centimetres wide.
Apple is expected to show their new technology at their World Wide Developers Conference that kicks off tonight in the USA.
The Company that is making billions selling iPhones and iPods has newly-acquired technology that uses military-grade camera equipment to produce realistic 3D maps of big cities and residential streets.
Google is undertaking a similar excercise using spy planes to help create 3D maps that have a lot more detail than their current offering, Google Earth.
Apple will use technology from C3 Technologies, a company they recently aquired.
Google has already sent planes over several cities, while Apple is testing their technology over several cities including Sydney.
Apple’s military-grade cameras are so powerful they could potentially see into homes through skylights and windows. This is the same technology used by the US military in Afghanistan.
Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, told the Daily Mail in the UK that privacy risked being sacrificed in a commercial ‘race to the bottom’.
“The next generation of maps is taking us over the garden fence,” he warned. “You won’t be able to sunbathe in your garden without worrying about an Apple or Google plane buzzing overhead taking pictures.”
He said householders should be asked for their consent before images of their homes go online. Apple is expected to unveil its new mapping applications for its iPhone and other devices today – along with privacy safeguards. Its 3D maps will reportedly show for the first time the sides of tall buildings, such as the Big Ben clock tower.
Google expects by the end of the year to have 3D coverage of towns and cities with a combined population of 300 million. It has not revealed any locations so far.
Current 3D mapping technology relies on aerial images taken at a much lower resolution than the technology Apple is thought to be using. This means that when users ‘zoom in’, details tend to be lost because of the poor image quality.