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Is Apple About to One-Up Google Maps?

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Despite renewing their email vows with a native Gmail app for the iPhone, Google and Apple may soon hit an app-related rocky patch as it's been revealed that the latter has superior mapping software on the side -- and the results are like nothing you've ever seen.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple has acquired C3 Technologies, which specializes in photo-realistic 3D mapping and applying extremely detailed "skins" to three-dimensional objects. The end results are similar to the 3D view function in Google Earth, but leagues better.

Take a gander at the company's aerial composite of New York City. Bear in mind, this isn't actual video. This is completely rendered in real time.

As you can see, coupled with other apps and services like Facebook or Twitter, live updates can be strategically placed within the three-dimensional view depending on where the message was geotagged. 9to5Mac reports that given its other acquisitions of mapping software in recent years, Apple could potentially implement this highly advanced 3D imagery into iOS 6.

It goes without saying that would be huge.

(See also: Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure and How to Use Siri on Apple's iPhone 4S)

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