Google Maps offline

Google today at a small event in San Francisco announced that it's taking Google Maps offline. That's right, no more will you be beholden to your data connection. Or if traveling abroad (or on a subway, for instance), you'll be able to kill data altogether and still find your way around. This, ladies and germs, is a big deal. What's more is that it's not just macro-level mapping. You'll be able to zoom all the way down into street view, sans data. You can't have it just yet, but Google says it's coming soon enough.

Google also showed off a backpack-type Street View rig -- powered by Android, if you'll believe it -- that's taken us down to street level in places cars can't go. Pretty slick.

And then there's 3D modeling in Google Earth. Google walked us through how it does things, making them better all the time. Its modeling has taken a big leap forward with the use of airplanes and oblique mapping, with computers doing some serious number crunching to make things impossibly smooth. It'll be coming to both Android and iOS devices in ridiculous resolution.