Google has just taken another step in making geospatial data more usable and actionable with the launch of Google Maps 5.0 for mobile devices. This new version of Google Maps comes with 3D imaging that allows the user to rotate, tilt and even re-route offline. Also available are compass mode and smoother zooming. Currently, Google Maps 5.0 is only available on Android mobile devices, but as with any new technology, I’m sure that’s going to change very quickly.
So what does this mean for the public sector? The answers aren’t very clear; however, it’s likely that law enforcement agencies and military officials will benefit greatly from these enhancements.
New features such as compass mode and offline rerouting can have a huge impact on law enforcement agencies in their field missions. For example, if there is an assault on a drug operation, the agents can use Google Maps to not only determine their specific location, but also re-route them if there is an unexpected block to their destination.
Other features like tilt and zoom can be have major benefits for the DoD. The tilt feature can give troops on the frontline a clearer picture of the terrain which will help improve positioning and tactical moves. Better zooming capabilities will help military officials better locate troops which will aide in providing improved strategy for ground operations.
These new features and capabilities seem to have major pay-offs that will help create better efficiencies for the public sector. It will be interesting to see where future updates to Google Maps and other geospatial tools will take us. What are your thoughts?
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