London 3D Project

Jack recently contacted me to let me know about the “London 3D Project”, which I wasn’t previously aware of. They’re a group of users that want to see more 3D buildings in London and rather than complain about it, they’re getting to work! Since they started work in October, the team has constructed well over 100 models, and roughly 80 of them have shown up in Google Earth.

They’re making a point to try to tackle a lot of the “boring” buildings that people otherwise might not model. For example, there are over 200 models of “Big Ben” in the 3D Warehouse, and most of the popular buildings in town have multiple models available. Their effort is focused on filling out the city with all of the models they can find, not just famous buildings.

To learn more about the project, you can visit their website at

You can also check out some of their models in the 3D Warehouse.

A project like this is also a great way to explore a city. Jack mentioned that they’ve come across a variety of interesting architecture and some buildings that they didn’t even know existed. Not only have they discovered these buildings now, but they’re sharing them with the rest of the community. Great work guys!

Mash your way to a better world

Posted by Mano Marks, Geo APIs Team

Our friends up at NetSquared recently opened a mashup challenge to engage developers in helping nonprofits realize some of their web ideas. The concept is pretty simple. First, nonprofits post ideas on data they have and what they’d like to be able do do with it on the web. Then, product managers and developers peruse projects and sign up to help produce specs and bring them to life over the course of the next month. Nonprofits with the coolest mashup at the end are eligible for grants totaling $100k at this year’s NetSquared conference in May.

This year there’s extra emphasis on openness, from standards and data to software and ideas. If your mashup can itself be mashed up, all the better. Mix and match APIs from different sources as you see fit – the only goal is to meet a need that a nonprofit has expressed.

We like this idea a lot, and we want to help it – and potential volunteers like you – succeed. On March 7, we’ll be hosting a hackathon at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, for participants, where you’ll be able to talk shop with API experts from Google. We’ll also be inviting gurus from other API providers in the area to join us so you get all the help you need. If you sign up to work on a project you’ll hear more from NetSquared about this event and others like it.

Go check out some of the projects, think about how you might be able to apply your design skills and API wizardry to help these groups out, sign up, and mash away!