Google To License Street View Imagery To Game Developers

Will driving games soon be featuring images of real places and roads courtesy of Google’s Street View? That’s the word from the Kmeme blog, which says that Google will make its imagery available to game developers:

A game company will be able to license the entirety of the real world’s roads and all the surrounding areas from Google. The data will be streamed over the network from Google’s servers, where it is displayed seamlessly with the actual game elements.

The physical road surface will be mapped at centimeter resolution, every bump and rise accurately depicted. The visuals along the route will be in 3D and super high resolution, you could see the spots on a ladybug if you slowed down enough. And playback during the game will be silky smooth thanks to copious bandwidth and massive amounts of local hardware to warp the imagery in response to each subtle change in eye position.

Google could extend all this to Google TV, which would be pretty interesting and open up a range of new use cases for Google Earth, Street View and other related content. Microsoft could do something similar with Bing Maps and the Xbox. Indeed, there are many creative future use cases for all the images that are being collected by Google, Microsoft, Everyscape and others in the market.

I’m sure that other non-traditional uses of Street View will soon emerge — especially as this rich imagery makes its way into the living room. Think about “virtual worlds” for example: the combination of real imagery, gaming and group interaction. And the higher bandwidths of TV will undoubtedly open up a range of new possibilities.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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