Google Earth: Baseline to baseline, we’ve got the basketball games covered

Do you hear the dribble on the court and the chanting of the fans? Following an action-packed week of buzzer beaters, the 2011 NCAA® Championship here in the U.S. promises to be as exciting as ever.

As a college hoops fan, I often wish I could experience the games sitting in the arenas—and I’m sure I’m not alone. This year, our college basketball tournament map lets you get as close as you can to the games without leaving your desk thanks to 3D models of the tournament’s 14 arenas. Take a virtual tour of the venues by watching the video below, or download this tour and open it in Google Earth.

Plus, we’ve created a special page for you to keep track of all the excitement during the next few weeks. You can see an up-to-date tournament schedule, explore the college campuses in Street View and click through to watch the actual games on NCAA® March Madness on Demand®. You can also create a bracket using Google Docs, read Google News articles on the games and download basketball apps from the Chrome Web Store. It’s all here (along with a fun surprise) at

And since there’s been a long-running debate over whether teams playing closer to their home court have an advantage, we added a “Distance Tool” on the map to make it easier to measure how far schools have to travel from game to game. We’ll see how things play out, but the defending champion Duke Blue Devils may have to travel more than 2,000 miles to Anaheim if they win their first two games.

As my friends always say when we can’t wait for the tournament to begin, “Send it in, Jerome!” May your favorite school reach the finals and we hope you enjoy all the basketball fun at

Posted by Aaron Weissman, Google Maps Marketing (San Francisco King of the Rock winner)

March Madness in Google Earth

If you’re a college basketball fan, your favorite time of the year has arrived — March Madness!

In true Google form, they’ve modeled all of the stadiums being used in the tournament in beautiful 3D, giving you a great way to check out all of the venues from within Google Earth.


Some of the stadiums even include indoor modeling, like we saw for the Super Bowl this year, such as Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX.


You can view all of the stadiums in a few different ways:

• Their college basketball tournament map, which provides information about all of the games and venues.
• This KML tour for Google Earth.
• By watching the tour video below:

Personally, I’m pleased to see Michigan make it to the Dance this year, since they don’t go nearly as often as they used to.

Cricket Season Has Begun!

Summer has arrived in the southern hemisphere, which in Australia, means cricket!
The Ashes,” a tournament series played between England and Australia, recently began a couple weeks ago so the competition is underway. It’s said to be international cricket’s most celebrated rivalry, dating back to 1882.
The series is played biennially, alternating between the United Kingdom and Australia. Since cricket is a summer sport, and the venues are located in opposite hemispheres, the break between series alternates between 18 and 30 months.
In Australia, where the tournament is being played this year, the “grounds” (stadiums) used are “The Gabba” in Brisbane, the Adelaide Oval, the WACA in Perth, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), in that order.
A view of the Sydney Cricket Ground in Google Earth
So whether you’re a cricket newbie like me, or a veteran “cricketer,” we hope that you’ll explore all of these grounds in Google Earth, or just enjoy our video tour, today!
Posted by Bruce Polderman, Product Manager