Tuesday, February 19, 2013
eMaps: Google maps on steroids
Last night I had a couple hours to relax with my girlfriend and while watching a movie she pointed out a great alternative to the official Google Earth app that she had found recently named eMaps. While playing with it on her MacBook I instantly noticed how much faster it renders the exact same Google maps compared to both the Google Earth app and the web version. It's like night and day. I think my jaw actually dropped.
When I have more time I want to look into what exactly makes it render the same maps so much faster. I'm sure it's probably OpenGL and/or Core Image related. Whatever it is, it makes an enormous difference. It is so much faster than Google Earth that on my G4 1.8 GHz 7448 system I was playing 720p h.264 while using it and it still rendered maps faster. Truly amazing. You have to see it for yourself to truly understand.
It no longer supports PowerPC but that support just stopped recently as the last compatible version (2.7.8) was released in 2012. It is donationware so there is a nag to donate each time you quit but I feel this is well worth a donation. If you cannot afford to donate then just use it for free. That is the beauty of donationware.
To use the street view in eMaps you need flash. For those stubborn few that use the modified pluggin which makes flash 10.1 show as 11.5 this is one of the safest ways to use flash. I don't need street view myself and I refuse to allow flash on any computer I own. There is also a web based street view which doesn't need flash named Instant Google Street View. Thanks to Dr. Dave and mclcmm for pointing it out.
I also want to say a public thank you to Dr. Dave for keeping the blog active while I have been off coding. Adding him as a writer was the best choice I have ever made for this blog. I am about 20-25% done the big project now and other than a few snags here and there things are going quite well.
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