Sightseeing The busiest airports of 2011


Over the years, the folks at Google Sightseeing have continually produced excellent content. They tend to use Google Maps for their views, so we always like to see how their locations look in Google Earth as well. In the past year or so, we’ve shown you some of their items such as the set of “Wipeout” and exploring the deserts.

Their latest feature covers the Top 5 Busiest Airports of 2011. Living in Atlanta, home of the world’s busiest airport, these kinds of stories always interest me. The numbers shown below are the total number of passengers from January-May, 2011. Let’s get to the list.

5. Los Angeleas International Airport (LAX) — 24,230,832


4. O’Hare International Airport (ORD) — 25,986,415


3. London Heathrow Airport (LHR) — 26,733,585



2. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) — 31,080,482


1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) — 36,548,629



Another neat image of the Atlanta Airport comes from the folks at Trendsmap. They captured all of the geo-located tweets in the Atlanta area over the course of a year, then plotted them against a dark background. The result is quite cool, as you can clearly see the various terminals of the airport, which are connected by underground tunnels. (details on Flickr)



For other interesting airports in Google Earth, check out the scariest airports in the Caribbean, or perhaps Peter Olsen’s amazing recreation of the 1977 Tenerife Airport disaster.



Osama Bin Laden’s compound in 3D


A few days since Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and already there are a variety of 3D models of his mansion available in the Google 3D Warehouse. Some are nice renderings, some use very realistic textures, and one is simply meant to be funny. However, all of them show that there are some very talented modelers out there, being able to produce models of this quality in such a short time frame.

Here are some of the best ones, in no particular order:

From J.A. Alvarez | details | KMZ


From Finnian | details | KMZ


From Aerilius | details | KMZ


From timmy | details | KMZ


From Mogens Bregnbaek | details | KMZ


I would assume that Google will post one of them as a default 3D model in Google Earth at some point.

Google Earth: The 10 most expensive hotel rooms on earth

A few weeks ago, we showed you a cool new tool that allows you to preview your hotel room using Google Earth. If you have a lot of money to spend on your hotel visit, then today’s list could be quite helpful.

Google Sightseeing recently showed off the “Top 10 Most Expensive Hotel Rooms 2011“, and we thought we’d track those locations down in Google Earth for you.

10 The Bridge Suite, The Atlantis, Bahamas — $22,000/night
View: Maps | 10-KML


9 The Ritz-Carlton Suite, Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo — $25,000/night
View: Maps | KML


8 The Penthouse at The Setai, South Beach, Miami — $30,000/night
View: Maps | KML


7 Villa Le Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior, Rome — $31,000/night
View: Maps | 7-Westin.kml


6 The Royal Villa at the Grand Resort Lagonissi, Athens — $32,000/night
View: Maps | KML


5 The Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia — $34,000/night
View: Maps | KML


4 Penthouse Prestige Apartment, Hotel Martinez, Cannes, France — $35,000/night
View: Maps | KML


3 Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel, New York — $35,000/night
View: Maps | KML


2 Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas — $40,000/night
View: Maps | KML


1 The Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva — $65,000/night
View: Maps | KML


Have you ever been fortunate enough to stay in one of these hotels (even outside of the suites listed here)? If not, do you have a favorite hotel due to its location, view, amenities?