Google Maps Goes 3D with GPU-Hungry OpenGL

By Roberto Baldwin on at

Hey movies have 3D, why not throw that winning technology at Google Maps. Beginning today, Google is testing WebGL technology with their maps.

Google says that the implementation of OpenGL will make zooming, rotating and tilting smoother than the current method of displaying map information. The technology renders vector-based 3D images using a computer's GPU. OpenGL doesn't require additional software, but does require that the browser have it installed. Currently Firefox beta and Chrome are the only two browsers capable of using the Google Maps OpenGL beta.

You can test the new Google Maps by clicking on the "Want to try something new?" button in the lower left hand corner of the Maps page. Take note, if you have what Google describes as a "low-end integrated GPU," you won't be able to partake in the test. That means my fancy new MacBook air with an i7 processor won't work. [Google via Tom's Hardware]