By Maximilian Clarke

Google are harnessing the power of WebGL in their latest tweak to Maps allowing for more interactive 3D graphics and smoother rendering.

Developed by the Khronos Group- whose members included ARM Holdings, AMD, Mozilla, Apple and Google- in March 2011, the Web Graphics Library allows for highly demanding 3 dimensional animations to run on browsers without the need for additional plugins. A host of features taking advantage of WebGL’s features is today (Thursday) being made available in beta form by the ever-creative Mountainview company.

“You’re now one step closer to experiencing and interacting with a 3D mirror of the real world within your browser with Google MapsGL,” wrote Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Earth Google on the company’s latest blog posting. “MapsGL takes Google Maps and harnesses the power of Web Graphics Library to create far richer visuals and animations.”

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