MapsGL Adds Turbo Speed To Google Maps

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 13, 2011
Updated • Mar 19, 2015
Google, Google Maps
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Update: It appears that the experiment is no longer working as intended. When you click on launch experiment you are taken to Google Maps. There you should see a "want to try something new" link to enable it which does not appear on the screen anymore. It is unclear if Google is making use of WebGL natively now when the connecting system supports it or if the experiment is simply not working anymore.

Sometimes when you look-up locations and places up on Google Maps you will notice delays before the tiles appear in the web browser that you are using to access the service.

The Google Maps Team has just released a new Chrome Experiment that makes use of latest browsing technologies to provide a better -- read more seamless -- experience.

According to the team, MapsGL "is one of the first large scale applications to be built on top of WebGL" that uses "3D rendering and hardware graphics acceleration" for a seamless, smooth and direct experience in the web browser.

Web users need to visit the Chrome Experiments website to launch the experiment from there. Once done, and provided that the web browser supports the technologies used by the experiment, they will notice rendering speed improvements on Google Maps.

MapsGl changes the way how maps and images tiles are rendered both on the server and client side.

Previously it was the server that had to pre-render the image tiles before they were sent to the client.

With the new technology vector data "for the map is sent to the browser" and rendered there on the fly.

The effect then is that less data needs to be transferred from the Google Maps server to the client PC.

The new technology enhances image transitions in Maps by "loading 3D metadata along with image tiles" to enable rich 3D transitions between "different levels and angles of imagery".

MapsGL requires graphics card that support WebGL content. Google will automatically block the experiment in cases where the graphics card does not support the technology. The developers note furthermore that MapsGL will fall back on a hybrid approach if the graphics card has poor performance on some operations. This would mean that Google Maps would use pre-rendered raster tiles for the background and only dynamically rendered labels on top of these.

The MapsGL technology should work in many modern web browsers including Google Chrome and the Firefox web browser. Have you played around with the experiment yet? Let me know what you think of it in the comments.

Summary
MapsGL Adds Turbo Speed To Google Maps
Article Name
MapsGL Adds Turbo Speed To Google Maps
Description
Google published a new experiment that uses WebGL technology to speed up its Google Maps platform.
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Comments

  1. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:33 pm
    Reply

    “Do you use Google Photos?”

    I do; I find it impossible not to use Google Photos on the Android phone; nevertheless, the “memory” feature is sort of neat. I’ve seen photos from a couple of years ago that that offer glimpses into the long-ago, forgotten past. It’s a lot like reviewing journal writing. “What was I doing and such and such a date?”

    And, I think, when the “memories” are sorted and positioned, one can create a mini-collage with up to eight photos.

    It’s so much easier to share photos with people rather than journal entries.

    Nifty!

  2. John G. said on August 16, 2023 at 8:57 pm
    Reply

    I delete the photos after 1 month of being taken. All of them are erased to return to the black and silent nothingness. Only the best ones are printed and placed in a very nice site at home. :]

    1. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 10:33 am
      Reply

      I should buy a Chromebook.
      None of the big tech companies are good but at least Google are the least dishonest and morally bankrupt of them. They’re always trying to do the right thing if the money allow it.

  3. Tachy said on August 19, 2023 at 5:15 pm
    Reply

    In reply to “https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/19/google-keep-is-getting-a-version-history-but-only-on-the-web/” since the website has gone insane and no one can know where thier comment ends up.

    This app should be called “Google Keeps it”. Because, they do.

    I use Color Notes. No syncing, no internet, just local.

  4. said on August 22, 2023 at 3:19 pm
    Reply

    The article said: “[…] positive outcomes of genocide…”. Perhaps the AI was actually discussing the benefits of reading a “Scroll of genocide” … “You feel dead inside.”.

    Martin, this post reply is supposed to belong: [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/22/googles-ai-search-generates-horribly-misleading-answers/] (given the the database is faulty it could appear anywhere or nowhere).

  5. John said on August 22, 2023 at 3:46 pm
    Reply

    I have yet to be impressed with AI of any kind. I think it’s overhyped and not ready to live up to it.

  6. Seeprime said on August 22, 2023 at 8:36 pm
    Reply

    How to use AI: Avoid the artificial stupidity at all times.

  7. Richard Steven Hack said on August 23, 2023 at 3:54 am
    Reply

    “When searched “Why guns are good,” it also prompted questionable responses, including potentially questionable statistics and reasoning. ”

    Based on whose reasoning? These sorts of assertions are generally bullcrap intended to advance an agenda. If you don’t like guns, say so. Meanwhile, there are 400 million firearms in the US owned by close to a third of the population and around 20 million carry concealed.

    So your opinion is not shared by a LOT of people who either enjoy firearm spots or are concerned about self-defense or both.

    1. Seeprime said on August 31, 2023 at 10:07 pm
      Reply

      Wow. Ghacks still hasn’t fixed the broken comments system where old comments from a different article appear. Sad to see you slowly turn to dust since the buyout.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:40 am
        Reply

        @Seeprime,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        https://www.ghacks.net/windows-11-update-stuck-fixed-for-good/#comment-4572991
        https://www.ghacks.net/windows-11-update-stuck-fixed-for-good/#comment-4572951
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

      2. Kirk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:08 pm
        Reply

        This guns comment came up in the Pixel watch repair post and I was bewildered as to what was the connection between the two.

  8. gogo said on August 23, 2023 at 5:12 am
    Reply

    goog = skynet
    “human beings” = \slaves\

  9. no said on August 23, 2023 at 3:51 pm
    Reply

    This info is so NOT correct.
    I so do not want google in my life that I have NEVER downloaded chrome and I do NOT have ANY google accounts.
    My browser is set to clear all cookies, cache and history every time I close it, which is every day, and I still get these world takeover login prompts on every site I go to.
    So I CANT go to google accounts and turn it off.
    If this info were truly accurate I wouldnt be getting these pop ups AT ALL.

  10. John G. said on August 31, 2023 at 3:49 pm
    Reply

    Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

  11. Scroogled said on September 1, 2023 at 11:31 pm
    Reply

    Anyone who continues to use these big tech scum’s cloud services deserves what they get.

  12. Tom Hawack said on September 4, 2023 at 2:44 pm
    Reply

    Given Ghacks’ comments’ database problems I precise :
    I’m commenting the article “Google is in trouble with YouTube Shorts – gHacks Tech News” by Emre Çitak
    at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/04/googles-youtube-shorts-problem/]

    About the article’s question, “What do you think about YouTube Shorts?” (BTW first time I read here any other writer other than Martin Brinkmann directly asks the audience it’s opinion, and that’s just fine) :

    YouTube Shorts may suit smartphones (which I don’t use) but on a PC they are not my cup of tea, to put it mildly.
    From what I read a bit everywhere, opinions are shared : love or hate. For those who dislike many scripts and dedicated browser extensions have been developed to handle them (removal or redirect to standard video display).

    I don’ view YouTube videos on YouTube but via a Piped or a Piped-Material YouTube front-end instance and these offer on search results and on channels the option to view Videos-Shorts-Livestreams-Playlists-Channels ; well, I practically never open the ‘Shorts’ display. I don’t like shorts (except in summer, hmm), I dislike the concept, fast-videos after fast-food, fast, faster … to bring what? Emptiness, IMO

    Does that answer your question, @Emre Çitak :)

  13. ECJ said on September 4, 2023 at 3:17 pm
    Reply

    I despise YouTube Shorts. So much in fact, I use custom adblock rules in Brave Shields to remove that crap.

    youtube.com##ytd-grid-video-renderer:has([href*=”shorts”])
    youtube.com###dismissible:has([href*=”shorts”])

    1. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 6:28 am
      Reply

      There’s an extension for Firefox and Chrome browsers called “Youtube-shorts block”, re-opens the video in a normal window. :)

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/youtube-shorts-block/
      https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/youtube-shorts-block/jiaopdjbehhjgokpphdfgmapkobbnmjp

      ps. say NO to Shorts, it only encourage shooting vertical-videos which doesn’t go well with many desktop displays… except when shooting vertical objects, such as ahem… pretty ladies. :)

  14. RG said on September 4, 2023 at 5:02 pm
    Reply

    Page source shows that ghacks is still using WordPress as the platform. Knowing, more or less, how it works at the DB level I am not sure how one could mess up comments this badly. It is actually very difficult.

  15. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:14 pm
    Reply

    Google is the big leader of everything. Indeed it can actually buy Amazon, Disney, Netflix, X and whatever other company. I wonder what could happen if Google starts to build airspace ships in order to conquer the Moon. I bet that Google would be the first to offer free WiFi at the Moon. Please fix the comments.

    This comment is inside the article:
    [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/04/what-is-google-synthid-and-how-does-it-work/]

  16. DC said on September 11, 2023 at 10:52 am
    Reply

    This “analysis” is disappointingly shallow and trivial. Why not include other factors like job level, responsibilities, full-time/part-time, qualifications, etc.? Because the conclusions probably wouldn’t fit the current leftist/feminist narrative. You don’t find what you don’t look for.

  17. said on September 11, 2023 at 11:42 am
    Reply

    Misleading statistics.

  18. Kris said on September 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm
    Reply

    Wage should be based on the amount of time, works, thinking (brain > muscle), responsibilities etc

    Not skin pigmentation or your genitalia. There could be correlations, but not causations.

  19. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 4:36 pm
    Reply

    “Google maintains that it provides a superior product”

    That is also Mozilla’s official position in defense of Google against the people, on that question of search engine abuse of dominant position by Google.

    The funniest part is that not only it’s false regarding actual competitors, but even among not-actual-competitors there are meta-search engines that use exactly the same engine, just minus the tracking, so Google is clearly the inferior one compared to those already. But maybe what Google is saying is that it is the surveillance and bubbling that would make their engine superior. False again even without considering the damage those do.

  20. bruh said on September 15, 2023 at 10:17 am
    Reply

    “Google increases Chromebook support to 10 years”

    I mean that’s great and all, but imagine using a browser-based, highly internet-dependent OS such as chrome. I’ve never used chromeOS but have seen it in person and read about it, just seems like ultra-limited user experience which relies on the concept that “most things can be done in a browser”.

  21. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:11 pm
    Reply

    What is there to support? It just a glorified web browser.

  22. Anonymous said on September 24, 2023 at 5:18 pm
    Reply

    “Google launched Chromebooks in 2012 as low-cost devices and the company has had great success in the education world, especially in the United States.”

    Happy tracking for all those unsuspecting children. And help normalize surveillance for those young brains. Well done Google.

  23. Ich bin nur ein Verlierer said on September 27, 2023 at 4:50 pm
    Reply

    No, AltaVista’s Search engine wasn’t difficult to use in the mid-nineties, and Yahoo didn’t own AltaVista either during the 1990s. Yahoo!, was a Web Directory. I was alive then and have actually used those engines, during that era, I should know if they were easy to use. So tell the angels what you’ve seen, scarecrow shadow on the Nazarene.

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