Huge Scale Model of Disputed Border Region of China Found in Google Earth

Huge Scale Model of Mountain area in China in Google EarthThis is one of the most interesting finds in Google Earth in quite some time. A few weeks ago a first time poster, called KenGrok, at the Google Earth Community (GEC) discovered a very exact scale model of some mountainous region located in the middle of a desolate area in north central China. Seen in Google Earth the huge scale model is .9 km tall by .7 km wide. It is adjacent to what looks like a military base with many camouflaged vehicles. Last week, the same poster found the location the scale model represents – a region occupied by China but claimed by India near north central India. If you turn on the “Borders” layer in GE you will see they are colored red to indicate the dispute. Another GEC member showed how exact the scale model is by taking a screen shot of the satellite photo of the scale model and overlaying it over the real terrain (turn the image overlay on and off to see how exact it is). This scale model was most likely created for military reasons. Someone posted a description of why a military terrain visualization is critical for military purposes.
In the same thread above, several other interesting locations were found close to the scale model:

You can also find other examples of military terrain models – see this Urban Warfare Training Center for the US Army.
Other amazing finds in Google Earth:

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. If you hoover around that Chinese “military” area you will see large numbers carved on top of the mountains. Any idea what those might be?

  2. If I’m not wrong, scale of the model is, aproximately, 1:500

  3. i think the numbers in chinese military area are some type of code . i think if we join the numbers 1-2-3..etc.. we get chinese alphabet (not sure). it may also be codes for fighter pilots who can see from above.

  4. Those letters say: Ski Slope

  5. These Chinese people think by doing all this they will be well equipped/ trained to fight India!!!…ha!!..
    The world politics should see this and take notice of this. What they are doing is not at all Justified.

  6. my concern is if china goes to war with india they might trash our economy to make sure we can’t do anything on either side, especially since they own something like 90% of our national debt. Facto in the new missile sub and all the other purchases. I don’t expect it next month, but sometime in the next quarter century china will do something big and stupid that will see a return to massive nationstates slugging it out and its either gonna be us and china or china and india.

  7. Maybe its some sort of controlled environment and they’re doing experiments and on people. Who knows, it could even be a rel life “Lost”.

  8. They are testing the giant father of all conventional bomb

  9. smokeonit says

    let’s not forget the footage is from april 2005… 4 years old!!!

  10. The model airport and jets sitting in a circle along with all the other items in the area are simply targets in a bomber/fighter test site. You can find similar target sets in the Nevada desert.
    The real issue with China-India military planning is that China needs more water resources to both create electricity and to feed growing croplands. In order to get it they want to redirect the moutain originated rivers, that currently flow into India, to go to China instead. They know doing so would, by necessity, start a war with India. So they are creating area-by-area war plans and working out all the logistics and contingencies in advance.

  11. It’s voodoo for sure ! They hit something in the model and the real location goes boom and boom !

  12. Why do each of these objects have the same coordinates? (mostly 40 and 93)

  13. To the southeast of these seeming runways is a weird almost-square grid of intersecting diagonal lines forming triangles and trapezoidal shapes. What is the purpose of this?
    Also, both the “runways” and the lines of this grid have water runoff patterns going through them, which would seem to indicate that they’re not used by planes or even maintained very well. Very strange.

  14. Nah they’re just playin’ Fallout.

  15. People are being paranoid.
    Think about it. If China really does declare war, they’re going to have to deal with a civil war in their own country as well. All the soldiers would be progeny of the generation that followed the single child policy. A war would decimate family lineages. Chinese people take a lot of stuff, but they won’t take having their children killed.

  16. supersteve says

    Lol! C’mon peeps. This is just a cut and paste exercise for a bored GE tech. Good to know those guys have a sense of humor!

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.