Hamburg 3D now in a layer

As reported by Ogle Earth, the amazing 3D buildings in Hamburg are now in the buildings layer of Google Earth.

Stefan says, “You will need a graphics card from the future — unless you are really close in, flying around Hamburg is done at extremely low fps… more like fpm”.  This will become more of an issue in the future as more buildings find their way into Google Earth.

A few months ago, I suggested to the Google Earth team that they handle 3D buildings in a somewhat similar manner as Virtual Earth – low quality as you’re far away, higher quality as you zoom in.  While I’m sure that’s quite a technical hurdle, they must be considering something of that nature to help combat this growing performance problem.


  1. You are absolutely right. GoogleEarth seems to be swamped, showing so many 3D-buildings.
    On one of my computers (2 GB RAM, ATI X1600 512 MB) GoogleEarth just crashed after retrieving data for several minutes. On the other PCs, it was extremely slow and unresponsive (I wrote about my experience in my blog (on German): )

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