Building blocks: 3D models with detailed facades November 19, 2009

Building blocks: 3D models with detailed facades

November 19, 2009
With tools like SketchUp and Building Maker, modelers around the world have been creating remarkably high-quality 3D buildings for Google Earth — just check out any of our Featured Modelers to see the impressive work they’ve been doing. We’ve also had local governments contributing models of their entire city – like Amherst, Massachusetts and Washington, DC – through our Cities in 3D program.

At Google, we’ve also been busy working on expanding our 3D coverage. Last week, we added detailed 3D models for Valencia, Spain. Many of these were Google-created models and before that, across the Atlantic, we released models in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to adding entirely new areas, we’ve been tinkering with ways to make richer, detailed 3D models. If you zoom into downtown Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Berkeley, or Stockton you’ll now notice that our 3D coverage is now much more extensive and a lot more vibrant.

San Diego, CA

Berkeley, CA

The buildings in these five California cities now have detailed facades, meaning that you can see storefronts and architectural details like you would if you were walking down the street. We’ve constructed these models by using imagery from Street View, similar to the way that users can make photo-textured models in SketchUp 7.1.

With these models in Google Earth, you can go in one swoop from viewing the globe through an astronaut’s eyes to virtually browsing the shops in San Francisco’s Chinatown or San Diego’s Gaslamp District.

Showing is always better than telling, especially for an interactive and vivid experience like this, so go explore the models in Google Earth. To kickstart your exploration, check out this video preview of what awaits you:

Posted by Christian Frueh and Manish Patel, 3D Modeling Team

More to see in 3D

More to see in 3D

December 22, 2009

A few weeks ago we released new 3D models with more detailed facades for 5 California cities. Even though we’re based in California, we know there are a lot of beautiful cities with amazing architecture elsewhere around the country, so we’re adding 4 new cities scattered from coast to coast. Now you can fly through Portland, Austin, Chicago, and Philadelphia and see vivid, detailed 3D models throughout the cities.

While the list is quickly growing, some of our favorite spots are Portland’s Pearl District, South Street in Philadelphia, Austin’s 6th Street, and the restaurants along Rush Street in Chicago:

Portland, OR

Austin, TX

Chicago, IL

Philadelphia, PA

For the full effect, you should explore these cities for yourself in Google Earth. As you browse through these cities you’ll also see a number of great buildings creating by users using tools like Sketch-up and Building Maker. Here’s a video preview of the interactive experience:

Expanded 3D Buildings coverage

Expanded 3D Buildings coverage

July 7, 2011
(Cross-posted on the Official SketchUp Blog)

Looking for new 3D cities to explore in far off places? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve been hard at work expanding our 3D coverage by adding ten of thousands of 3D buildings to these cities:

  • Berkeley, California USA
  • Cologne, Germany
  • The Hague, Netherlands

See the new buildings for yourself with the “3D Buildings” layer in Google Earthor by using Google Maps with Earth view.

Happy touring!

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A royal view of the wedding procession, right in your browser

April 27, 2011
As we approach Friday and the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, many locations in central London are in the spotlight. Last month weexpanded our 3D imagery of central London’s buildings and trees in Google Earthto help you explore the royal wedding procession route.

As we get closer to the wedding day, we’ve also featured a few highlights along the procession route for you to explore in 3D using Google Maps with Earth View. If you have the Google Earth plug-in installed, you can get started viewing these spots though an immersive tour right away, or you can download the Google Earth plug-in to explore Google Maps in 3D.

With one click, you can travel to Buckingham Palace, fly to an aerial perspective of Westminster Abbey, or get a clock-level view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Get started seeing these and other highlights

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, London

Whatever way you’re celebrating on Friday, we hope this rich data of London in Google Earth and Google Maps brings you that little bit closer to this historic event.

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