You have to see this to believe it. Above is a demo video of Paris 3D, a tourist guide to France’s beautiful capital city in photo-realistic 3D.
It looks absolutely stunning. The detail is unbelievable. Here’s a massive virtual city on your iPhone — right down to the gargoyles. There’s even people and vehicles — plus their shadows! — for added realism.
You can zoom in to particular streets or buildings, or zoom out to get a global view of the city’s layout. Tap on a building to get a data sheet on the structure, which includes the building’s history, photos, and where appropriate, phone numbers or opening times (like a museum).
Type a destination, and you zoom across the 3D city to see it.
You can to highlight particular categories of buildings — hotels and restaurants, for example, which show up color coded on the 3D map, making them easy to spot in a global view. The app is GPS-enabled, so you just tap a button to get directions. Street names are overlaid.
Performance looks fantastic. It renders better than Google maps. The demo looks like it was filmed on a iPhone emulator running on a developer computer. But if performance is as good on a real iPhone, it’ll be killer.
The app has just been submitted to the iTunes App store and should be available soon pending Apple’s approval.
The developer, Newscape Technology, claims it took twenty man-years of R&D over a four year period to develop, and is the first in a series of city guides.
Move over Google Maps!