3D tour of the Costa Concordia


Peter Olsen (who just days ago unveiled the excellent Terra Nova models) has built an incredible 3D tour of the wreck, with the entire journey animated!



The speed has been increased to save time, so you don’t have to wait 2-1/2 hours for it to finish, but it’s otherwise as accurate as possible. To see it for yourself, simply visit the Costa Concordia Disaster Animation page in the Google 3D Warehouse and choose the “View in Google Earth” link.

If you’re not familiar with using Tour files in Google Earth, simply click the “Double-click me!” text on the left to get it started, then click the play button at the bottom to step through the introductory slides, as seen here:



Fully animated tours like this are a great way to recreate events, and Peter is one of the best around at creating them.

via: GoogleEarthBlog

Google Earth: Rome looks amazing


Google has just pushed out more 3D buildings for Rome, Italy, and the result is a stunningly realistic 3D city. For a great example, here is St. Peter’s Basilica and Piazza in Vatican City:



You can also view historical landmarks such as the Colosseum, which is another amazingly detailed 3D model:



To see the buildings for yourself, simply search for “Rome, Italy” in Google Earth and make sure that you have the 3D Buildings layer turned on. You can also use this KML tour that Google has created to show off some of the best landmarks.


Can Google come update my area?

We get emails quite often asking if/when Google will be updating the imagery in a particular area. The short answer is no, we have no idea when new imagery might appear and we don’t know Google’s plans for updating a particular location. We discussed this question last year, but a few things have changed since then. Here is an overview of some options you have if you’re wondering about the next update for a specific area.


As we’ve seen recently with Japan (and previously with Christchurch, Haiti and others), Google is quick to respond to a natural disaster and tries to publish updated imagery as quickly as possible.

Historical Imagery

While the historical imagery in Google Earth is typically older than what’s on the base map, that’s not always the case. Check your area, and you may find that the historical imagery is newer than the main imagery.

Get updates about your area

A few months ago, Google introduced the “Follow Your World” tool, which allows you to sign up for notifications when a particular location is updated.

Things are speeding up

Google is gradually increasing the pace and quantity of their imagery updates, so every area should start to see a more rapid cycle of fresh imagery in the coming years.

How it all works

Of course, be sure to check out this excellent post from Frank a few years ago that explains how the entire imagery process works.