Apple has reportedly snapped up a mapping firm called C3 Technologies, which creates incredibly detailed maps using three dimensional photography.

If the rumour turns out to be true, C3's photo-realistic 3D model maps could make an appearance in an Apple-made iOS Maps app, rather than the company continuing to rely on Google Maps.

C3's mapping technique uses a plane-mounted camera to capture the intimate details of a landscape, from super-sized skyscrapers to small shrubs.

Turn left at the rhododendron

These incredibly accurate landscapes are then interlaced with traditional 2D maps as well as satellite images and Street-View-style photography, leaving you with a ridiculously detailed view of a route or destination before you even leave your house.

Check out C3's mapping tech in action in the incredible video below:

Apple also acquired a 3D mapping company called Poly9 last year, adding more fuel to the bespoke three-dimensional mapping fire.

Just as Apple acquired Siri quietly in early 2010 and then used it as the "killer" feature on the iPhone 4S in late 2011, there's likely to be a little wait until we see the amazingly detailed, high graphics quality Maps app land – although we'd wager it'll debut in iOS 6 at some point next year.

And, since a recent job posting already made us think that Apple is keen on a maps "rethink", we'd say the rumours of its purchase of C3 are really quite likely.

Quite likely

From 9To5Mac