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Google Maps Previews Aerial View API

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At the recent Google I/O conference, the cloud provider announced the preview release of Aerial View API, a new option to access cinematic videos of points of interest. Immersive View for routes, Photorealistic 3D Tiles, new route customization capabilities, and reusable web components are other Google Maps improvements.

Using the new Aerial View API, developers can create and display 3D aerial videos of a physical address, and highlight places like hotels, attractions, and shops with the same 3D map source used by Google Earth. According to Google, the views from the sky help create a sense of scale and perspective and help users make informed location-based decisions virtually. Matt Brightman, product manager at Google, explains:

Aerial View delivers programmatic API-based creation of high-resolution cinematic videos, allowing businesses to quickly embed them on their website or application the same way they would embed a YouTube video. The API handles all the heavy lifting, like processing, storage, and delivery.


The getVideo method assumes that Google has already generated all of the videos and returns an existing aerial video for the specified address or video ID. To generate a new aerial view video, the renderVideo method requests the generation of an aerial view video for the specified address, returning metadata about the video if it already exists.

curl -X POST -d '{
  "address": "POSTAL_ADDRESS"
}' \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \

Among the suggested use cases, educate buyers and renters, accessing a large range of locations that already exist as pre-rendered video, helping travelers gain an understanding of the area around buildings and landmarks, or deploying 3D visual experiences into existing applications.

There were more announcements related to Google Maps at the annual developer conference. Relying on AI, Immersive View for routes is a new way to see information about routes, including weather and traffic info, directions, and air quality. The cloud provider announced as well that it is now possible to create immersive 3D map experiences with Photorealistic 3D Tiles: the experimental release of the new geodata product offers a 3D mesh model of the real world, supported with high-res RGB optical imagery, and is designed for visualization at city block to citywide scale, covering over 2500 cities across 49 countries.

The preview release of data-driven styling for datasets on the Maps JavaScript API enables developers to visualize and style geospatial data as points, lines, and polygons on a map.


Built using W3C standards, the new Reusable Web Components help developers access map and advanced marker web components that emulate existing maps functionality found in the Maps Javascript API.

Omar Shehata, graphics programmer at Snap, tweets:

Never thought I'd see the day when all of Google Earth 3D data is available for use in your applications, as standard glTF files! (subject to Google Maps's API usage constraints).

The Aerial View API is currently available for US postal addresses, with more countries expected in the future.

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