New Google Earth imagery/3D, Bing StreetView coming soon

A couple of quick links today:

Imagery update in Google Earth: Just two weeks since their last one, Google has pushed out another imagery update.  It’s not a huge one, but it covers small parts of many countries.

New 3D imagery in Google Earth: Google has started using StreetView imagery in some cities to create lifelike facades in the downtown areas.  The result is stunning.  Check out the video below to see how it looks:

bingvan-223x300Bing “StreetView” coming soon? It looks like Microsoft may be planning to bring a StreetView-like competitor to Bing Maps.  The image on the right (via StreetViewFun) shows a Bing-labeled van driving around Vancouver gathering street-level imagery.

Considering the Winter Olympics start in Vancouver in a few months, I’d expect we’ll see the results of the imagery before then.

Bing Maps Imagery Update for July

ImageryJuly2009gHot on the heels of Google’s latest imagery update, we have a huge imagery update from Bing Maps (via James Fee). This update includes 41TB of raw imagery, covering 189,000 sq. km., and about 12,000 sq. km. of Bird’s Eye imagery.

One of the neat things that Microsoft does with each release is post a “World Tour” that highlights all of the changes across the globe.   However, despite all of the updates, we still don’t have any new 3D buildings.  I simply don’t understand that, and I’ve not been able to get any answers from Microsoft — but I’ll keep trying.  Their 3D cities are amazing, with 100,000+ buildings and a ton of 3D trees, but they haven’t updated them in over a year.

Still, this is an excellent update and gives you a lot of more data to play with!

Update: Google provides an update file as well, in the form of a KML file that shows all of the updated areas.

Some new 3D goodness in Google Earth

A couple of interesting 3D updates in the past few days.

First we have the Vancouver update. They added 1400 textured 3D buildings to the city and it looks great.  According to the Google Earth Blog, they also expanded 3D coverage in New York City, Portland and Seattle.

Another post from the Google Earth Blog involves the first 3D cruise shipCarnival’s “Fascination”.

Carnival Fascination in 3D

I wouldn’t think this was especially noteworthy, but it’s the ship I was on for my honeymoon (and the only cruise I’ve taken), so I find it pretty cool that they chose that ship.

Amazing 3D recreation of Ancient Rome in Google Earth

Google is about to unveil a new layer for Google Earth that shows over 5700 3D buildings from the city of Rome, circa 320 AD.  This is based at least in part from the model of the city we showed you last year from the University of Virginia.  If nothing else, they’re both based off the the “Plastico di Roma Antica”, a highly detailed plaster version of Rome that was built in the 1970′s.

The layer is not yet available, but will be found under “Gallery –> Ancient Rome 3D” when it’s released.  You can find much more info about this layer at the Google Earth Blog, the Official Google Blog, Google’s new Ancient Rome page, or the video below.

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:

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!

3D version of Disney World coming to Google Earth

According to the Google Earth Blog (via USA Today), there is a great new 3D version of Disney World coming to Google Earth.  It’s due to come out as soon as next Tuesday (May 20).

It will include 3D models of items in Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios and 22 hotels and resorts.  There will also be interactive features on the map, such as videos and the ability to make reservations.

We’ll post more info about it once it is released.