The 2010 Winter Olympics are upon us, and Google Earth will show you around the venues with a wide variety of excellent tools.
As part of the most recent StreetView update, Google has captured imagery from on top of Whistler, the ski resort where the Games will be taking place. The imagery was captured using the new “Street View snowmobile”. Here’s a quick video to show how it works:
More on the snowmobile can be found on Engadget, TechCrunch and Google’s own Lat Long Blog.
Of course, part of the joy of Google Earth is being able to fly around and see things for yourself. In preparation for the Olympics, Google has added a lot of great stuff to Vancouver to make it quite an experience in Google Earth. The city was given the 3D treatment early in 2009 and all of the Olympic venues were added in 3D a few months ago. Then they came back a few weeks ago with more updates to the 3D venues, leaving us with some awesome models to play with.
You can see all of the main venues by browsing the 2010 Winter Olympics collection in the 3D warehouse, or by browsing this collection I created on Earthswoop.
There’s also the 20 robotic searchlights that Vectorial Elevation has put up in Vancouver, which create huge “light sculptures” in the night sky. You can design your own sculpture using Google Earth or Google Maps, and the best ones will be used.
The last thing to explore is the New York Times Olympic Venue map. While it doesn’t use Google Earth, it’s an impressive 3D interactive tour of the various venues, and certainly worth checking out.