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Friday, June 01, 2012, 09:39 am PT (12:39 pm ET)

Google to unveil 'the next dimension' of its Maps ahead of WWDC

As Apple is expected to transition away from Google Maps, the search company has begun hyping an event in San Francisco next week where it promises to show off "the next dimension of Google Maps."

The invite-only event will be held next Wednesday, June 6, at 9:30 a.m. Pacific, Members of the press were invited to the event on Friday.

Scheduled to appear is Brian McClendon, Google's vice president of its Maps and Earth services. He will be offering a "sneak peek" at upcoming features, the company said.

The timing of the event is noteworthy, as it's less than a week before Apple is scheduled to hold its keynote address that will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The company is widely expected to show off the next major version of its iOS operating system, featuring an all-new Maps application built by Apple, replacing the current offering that relies on Google's mapping services.

The most significant feature of Apple's new mapping software is believed to be a three-dimensional view. The anticipated feature is likely driven by technology Apple acquired in 2010, when it purchased C3 Technologies, a Swedish 3D mapping company.

Maps

Google Maps event invitations were sent out on Friday (via CNet).


Apple's apparent plans to build its own mapping software have been in motion for some time. In 2009, the iPhone maker bought Google Maps competitor Placebase, and in 2010 it bought online mapping company Poly9 and also began using its own location databases for the iOS Maps application.



Traffic may also play a key role in Apple's new Maps application for iOS 6, as the company publicly announced in April 2011 that it was "collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database." The company revealed to the U.S. Congress that its "improved traffic service" would launch in "the next couple of years."

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt revealed a year ago that his company and Apple had renewed their deal to continue providing maps and search technology for the iPhone, and said he hoped the deals would "continue for a long time." The comments put to rest — at least for the time being — that Apple was imminently planning to ditch Google's mapping technology on the iPhone.