What's Google planning to announce next week?

The company on Friday sent out invitations to a June 6 media event that will focus on "the next dimension of Google Maps." The invite features a beautiful Google Earth-like rendering of a coastline and a curved horizon line, apparently from a low-orbit perspective.

Check out the invite (below), courtesy of TheNextWeb:

google maps event

Consensus seems to be that the Google Maps team will use this event to launch some fancy new 3D features.

The timing of Google's event couldn't be better: Apple is rumored to be ditching support for Google Maps on the iOS platform in favor of a mapping app of its own, which may also feature a 3D viewing mode. It's also likely that Apple will debut the new maps at its Worldwide Developer's Conference, set to kick off on June 11.

Why would Apple dump Google Maps? One reason may be Google's decision in March to require services generating more than 25,000 map loads a day to be charged for every additional 1,000 loads. At that rate, charges could rack up quickly for companies accustomed to using the service for free.

Wikipedia and FourSquare jumped ship after Google announced its new policy for Maps customers; both switched to OpenStreetMaps, which offers a similar service without any additional charges. Apple also began offering support for OpenStreetMaps when it launched iPhoto for iOS in March.

Join us on June 6 at 9 a.m. to see what Google will unleash. (And check back with us on June 11 to see if Apple announces a maps app of its own.)

Related on HuffPost:

Browse the following gallery to see some of the craziest Google Maps sightings:
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  • 'Atlantis' Underwater City, Atlantic Ocean

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jenius"></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jenius">Jenius</a>:<br />

  • Italy's Big Pink Bunny

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=44.244273,7.769737&spn=0.002206,0.004227" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/134186/in_pictures_the_strangest_sights_in_google_earth.html" target="_hplink">PCWorld</a>)

  • Mystery Figure

    Via <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr0qiivJZgI&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">YouTube</a>.

  • Blue Tree, Australia

    View it at <a href="http://googlesightseeing.com/maps?p=2005&c=&t=k&hl=en&ll=-34.073198,150.75777&z=19" target="_hplink">Google Sightseeing</a>.

  • Bottomless Pit, Libya

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35314" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • Iraq's Mysterious Red Lake

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=33+23%2746.08%22+N+44+29%2717.03%22E&sll=33.550551,-44.483643&sspn=4.046476,9.799805&ie=UTF8&ll=33.396999,44.488063&spn=0.007918,0.01914&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1881770_1881787_1881782,00.html" target="_hplink"><i>TIME</i></a>)

  • Comet

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35336" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • 'UFO'

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35315" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • 'The Badlands Guardian,' Alberta, Canada

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50+00%2737.76%22+N+110+07%2700.86%22W&sll=33.225406,-111.595216&sspn=0.003967,0.00957&ie=UTF8&ll=50.010952,-110.11513&spn=0.006095,0.01914&t=h&z=16" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.canada.com/globaltv/edmonton/story.html?id=977b4fcb-81ad-4c44-bbfa-baaa800c6dc5&k=30095." target="_hplink">canada.com</a>)

  • The Firefox, Oregon

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&om=1&z=16&ll=45.123785,-123.113962&spn=0.012112,0.024097&t=h" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • KFC Mapversiting, Nevada

    Read more about this advertising strategy <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,229308,00.html" target="_hplink">here</a>. View the real thing at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.646,-115.7507&spn=0.01,0.01&t=p&q=37.646,-115.7507" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Capsized Boat, Iraq

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=30.541634,47.825445&z=16&hl=en&t=h" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Triple Rainbow, South Carolina

    Via <a href="http://www.rodsbot.com/google-earth-3665.htm" target="_hplink">RodsBot.com</a>.

  • Desert 'Crop Circle,' Nevada

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.401437,-116.86773&z=15&hl=en&t=h" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/134186/in_pictures_the_strangest_sights_in_google_earth.html" target="_hplink">PCWorld</a>)

  • 'Eat Pecans,' New Mexico

    View it at <a href="http://googlesightseeing.com/maps?p=585&c=&ll=32.241354,-106.707501&spn=0.006405,0.009673&t=k&z=0&hl=en" target="_hplink">Google Sightseeing</a>.

  • Crop Circle

    Via <a href="http://www.techeblog.com/elephant/photo.phtml?post_key=160547&photo_key=35292" target="_hplink">TechEBlog</a>.

  • Truck Accident, North Dakota

    Via <a href="http://googlesightseeing.com/2007/03/truck-crash/" target="_hplink">Google Sightseeing</a>.

  • Expletive

    Via <em><a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/10/giant-profanity/" target="_hplink">The Register</a></em>.

  • Concentric Shapes

    Via <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr0qiivJZgI&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">YouTube</a>.

  • Pac Man

    Via <a href="http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2006/11/crop_circles_in_goog.html" target="_hplink">Google Earth Blog</a>.

  • Jesus Loves You, Idaho

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=43%C2%B038%2743.00%22N+115%C2%B059%2733.50%22W&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=43.645268,-115.992622&spn=0.002756,0.007178&t=k&om=1" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>. (Via <a href="http://www.dvhardware.net/article14647.html" target="_hplink">DarkVision Hardware</a>)

  • World Peace, Ontario, Canada

    View it at <a href="http://www.rodsbot.com/google-earth-3660.htm" target="_hplink">RodsBot.com</a>.

  • Dino Maze, England

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&t=k&ll=52.55885,-1.057756&z=17" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Swastika Building

    View it at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Coronado+CA&t=k&ll=32.676138,-117.157763&spn=0.001508,0.002596&om=1" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>.

  • Greenland Oddity

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tobiasaurusrex"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/641629-tiny.png?20100701194750" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tobiasaurusrex">tobiasaurusrex</a>:<br />At 70* North, 40* West in Greenland, there is a massive, marbled prism sumberged in the snow, and a censored block as well.

  • Freeway love for Gina

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tarzan1234"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/tarzan1234">tarzan1234</a>:<br />Sighted on freeway 520 in Seattle, Washington

  • Strange Patterns Over Myton, Utah

    via Patrick B.

  • Kenya Multiple Swastika Buildings

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/kipper84"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/kipper84">kipper84</a>:<br />This is in Nairobi Kenya close to Kenyatta Hospital

  • Abandoned Ships from the Aral Sea

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Quwhellyicquid"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/1015319-2-tiny.png?20100715131311" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Quwhellyicquid">Quwhellyicquid</a>:<br />Ships now are on dry land since the Aral Sea has dried up

  • Area 52 - Nelis Air Force Base

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/1179470-tiny.png?20100823235041" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey">the odyssey</a>:<br />Greek columns on a building in Nevada: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.678399,-116.670154&spn=0.002654,0.005584&t=h&z=18

  • Area 52 Pyramid?

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/1179470-tiny.png?20100823235041" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/the_odyssey">the odyssey</a>:<br />Pyramid looking thing and censored area in the Nellis Air Force Base / Area 52: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.835547,-116.727076&spn=0.021183,0.044675&t=h&z=15

  • Subdivision in Canadian Wilderness

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Paul_Nodwell"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/624261743/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Paul_Nodwell">Paul Nodwell</a>:<br />Must be a google earth glitch Lat 45.63d x long -78.333

  • Lake Huron Sunken Ship

    via <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=43.005428,-82.408721&spn=0.002758,0.004801&t=h&z=18" target="_hplink">Google Maps</a>

  • 'Missing' Planes

    Via <a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&ll=40.219488,-76.854939&spn=0.001016,0.001722&z=19">Google Maps</a>

  • Giant Human Shadow Close to Area 51

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/zman977"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/zman977">zman977</a>:<br />A giant human like shadow close to Area 51 with other weird things by it. The shadow measures out to be about 90 feet.