December 7, 2010 | by Michael Heller
Another of the myriad things we learned from Andy Rubin when he spoke at the D: Dive into Mobile conference last night was that Google Maps mobile is getting an upgrade to version 5 “in a matter of days”. The update will bring 3D buildings to Maps, drawn with a dynamic rendering engine, plus new panning and zooming options.
This new version of Maps will use meta data and your personal history of popular locations to render maps much faster than before. The new maps are drawn using vector graphics rather than a series of tiles, so they will use 100 times less data, and load much faster. Also, because the data is so much smaller, it will allow users to load up larger areas of a map in case they are going offline. Rubin said, “You could load a whole state.”
There has been no word about the requirements for Maps v5, but Engadget is reporting it will definitely run on the Galaxy S, Droid, Droid X, Droid 2, Droid Incredible, Evo, Nexus S, and G2, so that makes it seem as though you’ll need to be running Froyo to take advantage of the upgrade.