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Re: The Next Dimension of Google Maps - Official Post

2k10 Jun 7, 2012 2:20 PM
Posted in group: 3D Modeling for Google Earth & Maps
Hi Craig, I have another question for you! :)
There are a lot of cities right now that have 45º imagery. Were these photos taken using the new technology? I mean, will these cities have generated 3d models or are we talking about a 2nd generation 3d airplanes?

Thank you!

On Wednesday, June 6, 2012 8:06:05 PM UTC+2, CraigD - Google wrote:
Today, we provided a preview of some changes that are coming to the 3D landscape in Google Earth, starting on mobile devices. Later this summer, we’ll unveil a new way of displaying 3D buildings on Google Earth for mobile, achieved by building complete cityscapes from the 45-degree aerial imagery used in Google Maps and Building Maker.

One of the biggest challenges in showing 3D buildings in Google Earth has been gathering complete 3D coverage to represent the real world seamlessly and consistently. For example, many areas in Google Earth have specific buildings and landmarks in 3D where they are available, but the surrounding area is flattened out and only available in two dimensions.

New imagery rendering and computer vision techniques now allow us to create an accurate and comprehensive 3D representation of entire metropolitan areas. But we recognize this impacts our amazing geo modeling community. In the select areas where it will launch, the 3D Buildings layer on mobile and tablet devices will display only the new automatically generated 3D imagery. Manually modeled 3D buildings from both our users and own team will continue to appear everywhere else, as well as on desktop versions of Google Earth for now. As we expand our ability to provide comprehensive 3D buildings and terrain for entire cities and regions, we know this raises questions for anyone who has modeled for Google Earth.

What is going to happen to the buildings in Google Earth that I’ve modeled?
When we release the new 3D imagery in select regions later this summer, any models you’ve previously created in the areas covered by the new 3D imagery will no longer appear in Google Earth for mobile. Your models will remain available in the 3D Warehouse and continue to inform the 3D models in Google Maps.

What about Building Maker models?
Building Maker is a useful tool irregardless of the eligibility for those models to appear in the 3D Building layer in Google Earth. It's a great way to start a dimensionally accurate, aerially textured model for SketchUp, and useful for creating context models for SketchUp scenes. Building Maker will continue to be available for these purposes.

What about SketchUp models?
In the regions where the new 3D imagery is available, we will no longer publish the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth for mobile. However, we anticipate that there will be many parts of the globe that will take some time to expand to with this new type of 3D imagery, or never be able to reach at all. In those regions, user contributed models will still be important for providing a complete picture of the 3D landscape. User contributed 3D buildings may also continue to help inform the 3D buildings on Maps.

Why is my model being replaced by something with less geometric detail?
In some cases, the close-up work done by individual modelers may be more detailed than the current model created by the new 3D imagery techniques. Those detailed and beautifully textured models will of course continue to be available in the 3D Warehouse, and we appreciate you letting us share your model in Google Earth to date to provide a representation of the world in three dimensions.

However, using aerial imagery to create 3D models enables us to keep these 3D versions of the world more accurate and up-to-date than is possible with manually created models. In addition, the new 3D buildings and terrain are all generated from the same high resolution aerial imagery, enabling precise alignment of the new models and a seamless 3D experience across an entire area. In an effort to create an accurate, consistent, and more complete 3D representation of the Earth, we are replacing all existing models with the new 3D imagery and will continue working to improve them over time.

WiIl I still be able to submit buildings to Google Earth?
We are thrilled by the commitment shown by users contributing 3D buildings to Google Earth, and hope to continue working with these modelers from all over the world to accurately and realistically represent areas where the new 3D models are not able to be created. We encourage you to submit your models for areas where we have not released new 3D imagery.

How will I know if my models are going to be affected?
We are currently exploring ways to inform you about changes to the places where your model appears.

So what does this mean for the future of 3D in Google Earth?
As mentioned above, there are many areas that will remain unaffected by the initial release of new 3D imagery on Google Earth for mobile, and will continue to display user contributed 3D models. For modelers who would still like to publish SketchUp models for clients, you can create your own instance of Google Earth via the plugin using the Google Earth API, which enables you to publish 3D content on the web to share with clients or the general public.

Our goal remains to create an accurate, consistent and comprehensive 3D representation of the Earth. With 3D imagery in its infancy, we can’t truly see what the future holds; but the one constant in this fast-paced, high-tech world is change, and further improvements are ahead.