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from the L.A. Times

Google rolls out 3-D maps for Android

Google phone Android smart phone users will now be able to browse maps in 3-D, even when their Internet connection is on the fritz.

Google announced the launch of Google Maps 5.0 for Android on Thursday. The new-generation app uses vector graphics to allow users to interact with 3-D images rather than the old, flat, north-up maps.

Users will be able to tilt, rotate and zoom the mobile maps or to put them in compass mode, in which the map will rotate to match the user's perspective.

The new Maps will also automatically cache frequently visited locations so that users can pull up detailed street maps without an active Internet connection. And Google Maps Navigation is introducing offline rerouting, although an Internet connection will still be necessary to start a new route.


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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: The Google Earth application on Google Inc.'s Nexus One smart phone. Credit: Robert Galbraith / Bloomberg News

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