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Google Earth taking steps to improve 3-D mapping

The technology race between Microsoft and Google continues to grow and is quickly amounting to what a number of sources are calling a cyber-cold war. (Note: one is a number, and this blog is a source, so say what you will, but that's technically true). For now, Microsoft's Virtual Earth is way ahead in the field of 3-D City modeling, boasting near perfect replicas of over 50 cities. Google Earth has 3-D modeling for cities as well, but each one had to be completely modeled and created by humans. And as we all know, humans are no good at anything. At very least, we're well behind computers. Ask Gary Kasparov.

Google has no intentions of forfeiting this cyber-cold war battle (sticking with it). In order to get back into the race, they have reportedly licensed sensing technology developed by a team of Stanford University students that will allow them to map out photo-realistic recreations of cities in 3-D. Google has mined Stanford for technology before, including the original search algorithm developed by Stanford Graduate students. Rumor has it that the searching thing worked out well for Google. The official announcement on this will likely come at the Where 2.0 conference at the end of May.