Google typically releases a city or two with each 3D buildings update, but this week they dropped five on us! The new 3D cities are:
• Barcelona, Spain
• Bloemfontein, South Africa
• Port Elizabeth, South Africa
• Pretoria, South Africa
• Mulhouse, France
Not only is this a larger number of cities, but the quality of some of the buildings is remarkable. For example, look at this building in Mulhouse; the quality of the imagery used on the building is amazing.
At first I thought maybe it was a separate model that was created by hand in SketchUp. However, those buildings are clickable so you can see the details about it, and this one isn’t. In fact, much of the city is in this same sharp quality. I then assumed they used StreetView imagery to model the facades, like they did in some California cities late last year. The imagery doesn’t quite match up (the StreetView images of the building shows flowers in many of the windows), but that could still be the case. Perhaps they used older StreetView imagery to help create the models? Regardless, they did a superb job and they look great.
The other city you need to take a close look at is Barcelona. The coverage there is quite remarkable as well. You can read about it on the Google Lat Long Blog, or watch this view tour that Google created to help show it off. Enjoy the cities!