Mapping one of the biggest road races in 3D

The BolderBOULDER is one of the United States’ biggest 10K road races. Last year, more than 54,000 people participated, including several members of the SketchUp team and plenty of other Googlers from the Boulder office—after all, it’s right in our backyard.

Back in January, a group of us met with the race’s organizers to figure out ways that our geo-technology might play a role in this great local tradition. Our team ended up putting together a couple of nifty 3D maps that should help everyone (runners and spectators) get their bearings ahead of race day on May 30th:

The 3D Course Map lets you preview the race route in Google Earth.
We used the Google Earth API to embed an interactive course map on BolderBOULDER’s website. With the Google Earth plug-in installed, you will be able to see hundreds of 3D models of the buildings along the course, as well as special race day structures we modeled just for the event. Be sure to click “Run the Race” (in the upper-left corner of the screen) to take a guided tour of the course.

The Transportation Map provides information about getting to the race.
To help folks get to and from the race, we used the Google Maps API to embed a map with information about public transportation options, road closures and parking.

Whether you’re planning to join us in Boulder or just perusing the course from afar, feel free to explore the maps we built. No running shoes required, and no one’s keeping time.

Google Earth: Imagery Update – Week of May 2nd

The imagery update is now live in Google Earth and will be live soon in Google Maps. To see the places around the world that we’ve updated this time around, please download this KML.

The Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery Team will be publishing the latest batch of imagery in our next update, and as always, there are numerous fascinating and notable areas around the world.

One of the areas that was already slated for this regular update is Abbottabad, Pakistan, which is of particular interest given yesterday’s news. The imagery of this area that is currently available in Google Earth and Maps is from 2005. Higher resolution imagery taken in May 2010 has been prepared for our next imagery update release. However, given the number of inquiries we have received about this area, and to help users better understand recent events, we’ve published an advanced preview KML of the new imagery for viewing in Google Earth. This imagery will be pushed live in Google Earth and Maps as part of our next periodic imagery update.

In addition, as part of our continued effort to provide up-to-date imagery, we’ve worked with our provider again to obtain even fresher satellite imagery of Abbottabad, Pakistan from this morning local time. We have provided this imagery, which is of lower resolution than the scheduled update, to the media. This imagery will be accessible in the near future through the Historical Imagery feature of Google Earth.

This round of imagery also includes many other interesting sites, a few of which are shown below.

Here’s an image of the Harris County Court House of 1910, located in downtown Houston, Texas. Here you can see the ongoing restoration of the building, returning to glory its halls of justice. It is one of the most important historical buildings in Houston, and is often considered one of the best examples of historic courthouses in Texas.

Below is an image of part of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In it you can see two industries that are part of the might of Milwaukee: the Harley Davidson factory (right hand side of image) and the Miller Brewing Company (left hand side of image).

Now here’s a colorful sight: the Clipsal 500 Adelaide race, a four-day event consisting of two 250 km races of V8 Supercars. The race is often attended by well over a quarter million people. This photo shows the race in March 2010.

These updates will be made available soon in both Google Maps and Google Earth.

High Resolution Aerial Updates:

USA: Brookshire, TX; Brownsville, TX; Dallas, TX; Ft Stockton, TX; Hebbronville, TX; Houston, TX; Laredo, TX; McAllen, TX; Milwaukee, WI; Padre Island, TX; Wharton, TX; Zapata, TX;

Australia: Central Coast, New Castle, and Salamander Bay

Norway: Buskerud, Fredrikstad, and Oslo

Countries/Regions receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates:

Algeria, Angola, Antarctica, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Svalbard, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, West Bank, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Google Earth: Imagery Update – April 25th

The Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery Team has just published it’s latest batch of satellite and aerial imagery and as always, there’s all kinds of fascinating sites and features to see.

This release will be our last for April and this month, in particular is always associated in the northern hemisphere with spring and new beginnings. We can trace the meaning of the word April to the latin word aperire, “to open,” and what better way to describe “open” than the start of another Major League Baseball season! Below you can see in high-resolution glory, the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants warming up at their Scottsdale, Arizona spring training park for opening day and defense of their title. In this image, they were hosting the Milwaukee Brewers. As the Giants’ home field is only an hour away from Google’s HQ in Mountain View, they are often the talk of choice in our offices!

Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, Arizona

Below is another example of new beginnings. In this high-res aerial example, we can see Plymouth Rock (lower left), landing site of English Separatists and Anglicans looking for a new life, and the Mayflower 2 (upper right), a replica of their ship the Mayflower, both of which are located in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Finally, here’s an aerial image of the Sendai Airport in Sendai, Japan as they’re preparing to re-open. To see how the clean-up and rebuilding has progressed at the airport and adjoining neighborhoods, use Google Earth’s Historical Imagery slider to see earlier post-quake imagery of the area. It’s impressive to see.

Sendai Airport, Sendai, Japan

Do you have a place you love that you’d want to receive notification from us when the Earth and Maps Imagery team updates your beloved site? We’ve got just the tool: the Follow Your World application!

As always, these are but 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: Phoenix, Tuscon, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Wichita, Austin, Cape Cod
Japan: Sendai

Countries/Regions receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates:
Antarctica, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, China, Croatia, Egypt, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Haiti, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia

These updates are now available in both Google Maps and Google Earth. To get a complete picture of where we updated imagery, download this KML for viewing in Google Earth.