The University of Alberta

We’re big fans of 3D buildings and the realism that they add to Google Earth, and universities around the world are continuing to be the leaders in that area. Recently we showed you Terbuka University in Indonesia, and previously we’ve shown you excellent 3D campuses from Northeastern, the University of Wisonsin-Fox Valley, Central Florida and dozens of others.

Today we’ll take a look at the University of Alberta. Lawrence Kwok emailed us to let us know that a team of himself and three other students (Max Amerongen, Matthew Hale and Veronica Krawcewicz) have modeled the majority of the campus, and it’s looking great!


While the buildings are looking excellent, they’re far from finished. This summer they’re working through an initiative to redesign the online campus map. While the map currently has quite a lot of data in it already, they’re hoping to improve the mobile experience.

To explore their 3D buildings for yourself, you can visit this page on Google Maps or download this KML file to fly directly to it in Google Earth.

via: GoogleEarthBlog

Bing Maps now using Nokia Backend services for Traffic and Geocoding

Last year, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Nokia in Mapping. Our two companies have spent a lot of time working together, sharing information and investigating better ways provide relevant mapping information to help you find and get to where you’re going more quickly. Today, we’re excited to announce another important phase in that partnership with the launch of Nokia powered traffic results, which are rolling out today in 24 countries on Bing Maps.

The following countries will see improvements through Bing Maps as a result of our use of Nokia services:

· Austria

· Belgium

· Brazil

· Canada

· Finland

· France

· Germany

· Greece

· India

· Indonesia

· Ireland

· Italy

· Luxembourg

· Mexico

· Netherlands

· Poland

· Portugal

· Russia

· Saudi Arabia

· South Africa

· Spain

· Sweden

· Switzerland


· United Kingdom

· US


New countries with Traffic

Sao Paulo, Brazil (Resize)

São Paulo, Brazil

Johannesburg, South Africa (resize)

Johannesburg, South Africa

Moscow, Russia (Resize)

Moscow, Russia

Mumbai, India (Resize)

Mumbai, India


Improved Traffic


We’re also improving our existing traffic coverage in the US to include traffic information for side streets in addition to freeway traffic information. See below for enhanced coverage in Seattle.

Seattle Side Street (Resize)

Seattle, Washington

In addition to these traffic improvements, Bing Maps will also start to use Nokia’s geocoding services in a number of countries offering improved directions.  This update, while not always visible to users, is another important milestone in our partnership to build the world’s best mapping platform using Nokia and Microsoft’s assets.

Thanks to our friends at Nokia for their dedication along the way. Together we have enabled a stronger Bing Maps experience and we hope Bing users in these respective countries reap the benefits of our partnership, notice an increase in address search relevance, and enjoy the addition of traffic information – especially those of you in the US who are adventurous enough to travel during the Memorial Day holiday!


Google Earth Imagery: The end of October

What do Elvis’ Graceland and Iran’s Marmar Palace have in common? Both estates have been updated with new imagery in Google Earth and Google Maps!

Over the last few weeks, the imagery team has updated hundreds of images. To give you a taste of this new data, today we’ll look at several interesting features that have been updated with new imagery from across the globe.

First, I’d like to look at a fantastic and majestic terrestrial landform known as the star dune. Star dunes form pyramidal shapes that grow upward and are characterized by multiple radiating dune crests. Shown below is a perspective satellite image of a star dune field within the Badain Jaran Desert of China. The desert contains Earth’s tallest stationary dunes, reaching heights of 500 meters!

Perspective view of star dunes of Badain Jaran Desert, China
One of my favorite hobbies is scrambling around volcanic sites throughout the western United States, and many of my favorite areas are located in Idaho’s Snake River Plain. Within this river plain, one of the youngest volcanic flow features of the region comprises the Hell’s Half Acre lava flow field. In the aerial image below, taken this past September, you can see “windows” of older river bed material (now farmland) that were not buried during lava flow emplacement.

Farmland enclosed by lava flow, Snake River Plain, Idaho
Can you identify the unusual feature relationship seen in the satellite image below? Yes, train tracks cut to the northeast across the airport runway! Those tracks belong to the Kyber Railway, and their two vintage steam locomotives take passengers 42 kilometers to the town of Landi Kotal in Pakistan’s mountainous Kyber Pass.

Peshawar International Airport, Pakistan
Below is a fun water sport activity captured in high resolution aerial imagery of the southeastern coast of Auckland, New Zealand. You can see the kayakers paddles as well as the submerged sandbars and boulders of Thorne Bay.

Kayakers in Thorne Bay, New Zealand
We can see the Marmar Palace of Tehran, Iran, a.k.a the Marble Palace in the updated satellite image below. It is associated with the Pahlavi dynasty, and is still used today by the Iranian government.

The Marble Palace, Tehran, Iran.
In my opinion, most good things start and end with Elvis references, so our last example showcases updated imagery of Graceland, including the private customized Convair 880 jet Elvis used while hopping across the globe.

Graceland, Memphis Tennessee
If you’d like to receive an email notification when the Earth and Maps Imagery team updates your favorite site(s), we’ve got just the tool: The Follow Your World application!

These are only a few examples of the types of features that can be seen and discovered in our latest batch of published imagery. Happy exploring!

High Resolution Aerial Updates:
USA: Bellingham, WA; Bemidji, MN; Brookings, SD; Davenport, IA; Emporia, KS; Grinnel, IA; Idaho Falls, ID; Klamamth Falls, OR; Lawrence, KS; Lovell, WY; Nephi, UT; Pittsfield, MA; Portland, OR; San Francisco Peninsula, CA; Scottsbluff, NE; Seattle, WA; St Louis, MO; Terre Haute, IN; Wasco, OR; Williston, ND; Wolf Point, MT

Spain: Huesca, Logrono

Countries/Regions receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates:
Angola, Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gaza Strip, Greenland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jan Mayen, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, North Korea, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Svalbard, Taiwan, Tanzania, The Gambia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, West Bank, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe