SAN FRANCISCO — Google is deploying a fleet of small, camera-equipped airplanes above several cities, the Internet search company’s latest step in its ambitious and sometimes controversial plan to create a digital map of the world.
This comes on the heels of industry reports Apple will stop using Google’s maps API to power its iOS maps app on iPhone and iPad and will institute its own, similar 3D maps solution for the program which will likely be announced at Apple’s developer conference next week.
Google plans to release the first three-dimensional maps for several cities by the end of the year, the company said at a news conference at its San Francisco offices on Wednesday.
Google declined to name the cities, but it showed a demonstration of a 3D map of San Francisco, in which a user can navigate around an aerial view of the city.
“We’re trying to…
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