Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Google 3D Maps Mashup


The Google 3D Warehouse is a database of 3D objects that people from around the world have built using the software application Sketchup. These objects are intended to be opened in Google Earth. The web front-end to this database has been recently revamped, as reported by Frank Taylor over at the Google Earth Blog. The redesign includes a Google Maps view of each 3D object with location based significance, or those that are actually real. These 3D objects are available for viewing in Google Earth (or editing in Sketchup). Along with this redesign being a great compliment to browsing these objects, for specific location-based landmarks such as the San Francisco City Hall (pictured above) it's a great way to actually see what is in that satellite photo you are viewing on Google Maps. Take things a step further by viewing it in Google Earth to get the full experience of almost being there!

Here are some examples (Toggle to 'satellite' view and zoooom in on these!):
Haven't yet downloaded Google Earth? Run, don't walk, here and GET IT!! :) Google acquired @Last Software, makers of Sketchup, back in March and since then have integrated this ability to create and 3 dimensional objects into the core of the Google Earth application. You can browse the 3D Warehouse to choose buildings or objects to import into Google Earth, creating a true virtual reality world inside this amazing geo-browser. Don't forget that Google Earth also contains it's own built in web browser enabling you to cruise mashups here on Google Maps Mania while simultaneously taking a closer 3D look on Google Earth!

Have fun!
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