Originally Posted by steelbom
I was curious what you mean by this? Flyover is all about vectors and 3D. The low quality 2D maps we see will end up all being replaced by vectors.
Sorry I will clarify. There are only two ways to represent space in a map through vectors or rasters. Vector information in a cartographic sense are points, lines, or polygons. They are technically 2D features. A fully vector map would look like a Garmin Nuvi type map with no pictures just points, lines, and polygons. The transition to a 3D object and map space is difficult to do for a two fold reason. Most people have difficulty in processing 3D information in a 2D workspace like a map when the information isn't rasterized or photorealistic. Some simply have difficulty in object recognition unless it is somehow transformed.
The second reason it is difficult is the information collection. To create a 3D map of a small area is simple enough with planned data collection. To do small scale mapping (meaning covering large areas in low detail) with data from different sources becomes very complicated. Issues arise from differing scales, different coordinate systems or origins, and the ability to combine those things. Things simply don't line up correctly and it takes quite a bit of work to make it line up. Planimeteric vectors such as roads were never intended to become 3D so when you stretch them to fit a 3d surface it becomes distorted. Even imagery when lain over a 3D surface surface do the same (think about the odd looking bridges we see). We do a process to correct that with geometric and orthographic transformations but there is a limit to what can be done.
The end goal of most maps and virtual globes is to eventually be a 3D representation of the world. Apple, Google, Microsoft, ESRI, Intergraph, Hexagon, etc... are all shooting for this goal. As of now there simply isn't enough high resolution information collected to pull it off. Unfortunately even Apple doesn't have enough money to pull it off. Although I hope they throw a lot of money at it because if I ever decide to leave the academic research world there will be some great paying jobs in the industry.
I hope I was able to clarify myself in a another wall of text. I should really be working on my dissertation.