Google Maps Is Getting A Sweet 3D Upgrade That Will Make Navigating Big Cities A Breeze

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A small but nifty feature is coming to Google Maps on Android Auto and CarPlay that allows you to see 3D graphics of buildings when navigating between points. This feature has never been seen before on Google's ubiquitous mapping app.

3D maps on Google Maps have been available for a number of years now, giving users the ability to zoom in and view their favorite cities and concrete landscapes in three dimensions. Soon, however, Google will be taking this up a notch by allowing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay users to do the same in navigation mode. How useful and cool would it be able to drive into a foreign city and have virtual buildings on the map as visual markers!

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3D navigation in Hong Kong (Credit: Reddit)

There's no official announcement on when the rollout of this feature will occur either globally or in the US, but Google has been actively testing the function in various regions and random users only. Some Redditors are showing the feature working in Hong Kong and Canada. 

Google Maps 3D
Credit: 9to5Google

When you do eventually get the function on Google Maps, activating it is a cinch. When entering your destination in the app, be sure to have "3D" activated under "Map Details" when you select the Layers icon at the main map screen. The building will appear when you're sufficiently zoomed in on the map. Of course, at this point, not all locations are supported—3D buildings seem currently focused on capitals or major cities. One nice touch we noticed is that in navigation mode, Google engineers wisely prevent tall or large building from obscuring the driver's view of the marked route by making the buildings transparent. 

It's fantastic to see Google Maps getting solid upgrades and features recently, and from the looks of it, 2024 might have some pretty cool surprises in store for us. Maybe Google might even allow users the option of switching back to the older, more coherent color scheme?