Two new cities in Brazil

Two years ago we launched a web-based tool that creates 3D models from a 2D workspace: Google Building Maker. At the time of the launch, users could only make models in 50 cities. Today we’re adding two more cities, just in time for the anniversary of its launch. With the addition of Porto Alegre and Brasilia, you can now create models in 124 cities.

Join in the birthday celebrations by modeling some buildings in Building Maker’s newest cities. Feliz aniversário, Building Maker!

Google Earth: 3D trees arrive in London

When Google Earth 6 was released, it brought us a bunch of cool features. One of those great new features was the addition of 3D trees in a handful of cities. It’s taken a few months, but Google has finally started adding more trees to the globe, starting with London!


In preparation for the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April, Google has added a lot of 3D buildings and 3D trees throughout London, including along the entire royal procession route.

Here’s a video that shows how great the procession route looks with all of the new 3D items in there:

If you want to see if for yourself, you can use this KML file to fly directly to London. Be sure to enable all of the 3D items in the “3D Buildings” layer in Google Earth.

Finding the right place when you need it

Over the past few months, we have launched several new mobile search features for iPhone and Android-powered devices that make it easier to find local businesses. In the US, we launched an “open now” feature which lets you filter local search results to show only businesses that are open right now, based on their listed hours. When you’re hankering for pizza at 1 o’clock in the morning, this can be really handy:
Other local search options available globally include filtering by star ratings (find a highly-rated restaurant for your first date) and by distance (especially handy when you’re on foot).
You may have noticed other improvements as well, like the addition of images, reviews from around the web and bigger buttons for viewing a map or calling a business directly. Each business’s open hours are also shown in the result snippets.

If you haven’t used local search recently, now is a great time to try it out. Just go to in your browser, tap on the “Places” link at the top of the page, and do a search. You can also access these features when searching for businesses on Google Maps for mobile on Android devices.

Posted by Yoshi Matsumoto and Keiji Maekawa, Software Engineers