The folks at CyberCity 3D have been busy. Last Friday, as Google unveiled the cities of Copenhagen and Marseilles in 3D, they also released a handful of creations that were built by CC3D. In particular, their models covered part of the DuPont Circle area in Washington, DC. The models they construct are fantastic, as demostrated by the Embassy of Indonesia below.
Today they’ve launched a new feature that they call “Virtual Viewing” in Google Earth. Using the Google Earth plug-in, real estate companies can show off 3D models of the homes they’re trying to sell. I’ve long felt that this would be a useful tool for agents to use, but it still needs some work. There are major two problems that I see:
1: It’s too hard to show off their work to a typical internet user. This new system uses the Google Earth plug-in, which is much easier for many users than just giving them a KML file. However, it simply drops you into an aerial view of the property, and you need to use the tools to navigate around. An automatic preview that swings the camera in a slow loop around the property might make it easier for novice users. They could create a semi-automated tour like EarthSwoop does, or even show a brief narrated tour similar to the Appalachian Mountaintop Removal. Here is an example of one of their properties.
2: It’s cost-prohibitive for many people. They don’t list costs on the site, but high-quality models like this don’t come cheap.
Ultimately, I think we’ll see most houses 3D-generated automatically, as both Google and Microsoft are already doing that for major cities. Over the coming years, I’d expect it to spread to an increasingly wider area. In the meantime, CC3D fills a nice niche for high-end homes that need additional exposure.