Search engine giant Google launched the service MapsGL. In fact, these are the same maps Maps Google, improved and accelerated through the use of technology WebGL (Web-based Graphics Library), allows you to display 3D-graphics-compatible browsers without installing any add-ons using the power of hardware graphics accelerators.
WebGL enabled Google to implement smooth transitions between images when working with a map and its increase. Also introduced the following improvements Maps Google:
3D-view of buildings and panoramas at an angle of 45 ° directly in Maps;
smooth zoom and view angle of 45 ° to rotate the camera;
Fast switching between map and street view.
Technology needed to operate a compatible browser ( Chrome 14 , 8 Firefox , Safari enabled WebGL, Opera 12 or later) operating system OS Mac Snow Leopard or Lion, Windows Vista or Windows 7, Linux, and video card that supports Direct X 9.0c or higher (some integrated accelerators like Intel GMA 3100 or 3150 not supported).
To use, simply visit MapsGL Page Google Maps , and if the system will support the technology, the application will prompt at the bottom left corner to enable the output mode WebGL. There, at any time and you can then disable MapsGL, if necessary.
Although this feature is still experimental, it shows that the 3D-graphics might mean for Web sites. Appendix MapsGL impressive, although those familiar with Android-application Maps Google, many new features are already familiar with. Move on the map now are much smoother, as you can see nice animation where it was not there before.
This can be considered the first implementation to support WebGL in a large web application. Until now mainly used only WebGL in technology demonstrations and test projects. It was with the advent of such major applications as MapsGL be expected to support the development of WebGL from both browser makers and producers of the video and web developers.
When you create MapsGL Google developers are faced with some difficulties, but have a fairly good performance, while in the pilot version of the project.
As the developer of the team MapsGL Jennifer Maurer (Jennifer Maurer), technically MapsGL brings significant changes in how the cards and blocks images are rendered on the client and server: instead of downloading the pre-rendered images from the server, the vector map data are sent to the browser and displayed on the fly with WebGL.
She also said that using WebGL can significantly extend the functionality of Web applications, but this approach complicates the development and requires additional testing. “Although WebGL is a cross-platform standard, performance greatly varies depending on the graphics hardware and operating systems – and then , which improves performance on one system can affect it in another, so that testing for a wide range of systems is very important “ - added Mrs. Maurer.