Open the Apple Maps app in iOS 6, tap the bottom right page curl, and enable Satellite view. All of a sudden whatever you’re looking at will be filled in with realistic details like grass, pavement, and buildings. The Google Maps for iPhone app is capable of displaying satellite imagery as well, but Google has also baked a hidden topography mode into the app.
Thanks to jailbreak tweak developer Ryan Petrich, there’s a new package in Cydia that unlocks the Google Maps for iPhone Topography mode.
Petrich tweeted his finding yesterday, and now jailbroken iOS devices can enable the feature in the official Google Maps app by installing the new “Topography for Google Maps” tweak in Cydia. Petrich has made it available for free under this own repo: http://rpetri.ch/repo/
Once installed, the tweak adds a Topography option under Satellite in the left-hand sidebar of Google Maps. It’s curious that Google hasn’t enabled this feature for everyone.
All the topography view really does is make Google Maps more like Google Earth for viewing a combination of satellite images and aerial photography. Uninhabited areas like the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest look more detailed.