A ton of new imagery for Virtual Earth, and a few more updated cities

To go with the new “version 2″ 3D data for Miami, Microsoft has updated Vienna and Seattle.  In addition to that, they’ve added a ton of new imagery.

I normally like to list all of the updated areas, but it’s simply too much.  You can view it all on this page.

The total amount of new imagery is reported to be around 69.2TB, which is amazing!  However, I don’t know how that number is computed.  Is that raw imagery?  Compressed?  Anyone know how that figure is derived?

In any case, it looks to be another awesome update.

Disney World 3D has finally arrived in Google Earth

It’s a few weeks later than we expected, but Disney World is now 3D in Google Earth — and it’s impressive!  They’ve included the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Disney Resorts.

There are actually two parts to this:

  • The normal 3D buildings layer will add all kinds of visual goodness, such as buildings, trees, statues, etc.
  • The special Disney layer will add information about the parks and the hotels.

To activate the 3D buildings, simply check the box next to “3D Buildings” in the “Layers” tab like you normally would.

To activate the Disney layer, go to “Gallery -> Travel and Tourism -> Walt Disney World”.  Once you’ve turned that on, along with the 3D buildings, fly down there (KML) and check it out.

The 3D aspect of this is stunning, but be warned — it’s very graphically intensive.  I’ve got a pretty solid machine, and it slowed it down quite noticeably.  Still, it’s well worth checking out.  Have fun!

Update: Frank Taylor has just made a nice little video that takes you through the 3D Magic Kingdom.  Check it out:

Another cute game using the Google Earth Plug-in

Here’s another fun game using the Google Earth plug-in, based heavily off of the Monster Milktruck demo.  It has quite a few limitations (the biggest being no altitude adjustment), but it’s another step in the right direction.

The plane simply hugs the ground, and it runs in a pretty small window.  The small window is an attempt to use less bandwidth.  Since the plane can’t stop (or even slow down), the imagery has a hard time keeping up.  The small window helps with that a little bit.

Despite the shortcomings, it’s a fun little app and it has me even more excited about the possibilities for the future.

Miami is now “version 2″ in Virtual Earth

About two months after the first four “version 2″ cities were released, Microsoft has just unveiled Miami 2.0.  Like the other four cities, it features a massive increase in the number of buildings, along with a whole bunch of 3D trees.  According to the Virtual Earth 3D blog, Miami now has 46,344 3D buildings (up from about 4,000) along with “hundreds of thousands” of trees.

To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with the pace of these new cities.  They’ve bragged a few times that these cities are generated through a “100% automated process”, so I expected a few new cities per month.  To only have one new city after two months is a bit of a letdown.  That being said, Miami looks awesome and I can’t wait to see more!

Panoramio brings a new way to view photos

Well, new to them at least.  Panoramio has brought out a new feature to allow you to “Look Around” some landmarks using a very simple, intiuitive interface.  As Google Earth Blog points out, this feels very similar to Microsoft’s Photosynth.  In addition, as Google System points out, it’s not nearly as cool.

I’m a bit disappointed that this doesn’t yet work in Google Earth.  I was picturing something much more similar to Photosynth, where you could interact in a 3D world.  Still, it’s a very nice start and works very well.  The transitions between photos are very smooth and really help illustrate how the photos are related to one another.

Some places to check out, as suggested by the Panoramio blog:

Update: A little more info is now up on the Google LatLong blog.

Minnesota city demands removal of StreetView images

The 4,500 resident city of North Oaks, MN has demanded that Google remove StreetView imagery of their town.  However, they’re not a typical town, in that all of their roads are owned by the residents (meaning they’re private) and the city enforces a trespassing ordinanace.

While it’s certainly unique, since no other city has made a similar request, it seems that they’re well within their rights to request that, since the roads are private.

It makes me wonder if other cities (with public roads) will request this.  It would be interesting to see what happens with those.