Google Releases New 3D Buildings Layer for Google Earth

[UPDATE: See YouTube video demo of these new 3D Buildings.]

3D buildings with texture in Google Earth

Google has released a new layer (viewable with Google Earth 4 beta), which lets you view higher quality 3D Buildings – many of which are photo-textured. I highly recommend you download the new official Google Earth 4 because it loads these models much faster than the previous betas (actually, I just realized the new layer isn’t available unless you download the official version). You can now turn on a “Best of 3D Warehouse” layer under “3D Buildings” and it will automatically load high quality buildings for the area you are viewing. The layer is a network link which automatically loads 3D buildings for the city you are viewing. Only cities which have the buildings available will load. But, many major cities around the world have at least a few buildings. Above is a screenshot of New York City. You can also turn on the “Other Buildings” layer and still see the old gray 3D buildings Google Earth has always had. Although, there is no longer a conflict between the cruder gray buildings and the new higher quality buildings. They’ve removed the cruder buildings wherever a higher quality building from the new layer exists.
You can also still download the 3D Warehouse network link to find even more 3D models and select the placemark to load them up.
This new building layer is Google’s answer to Microsoft’s recent release of the Virtual Earth 3D beta with several cities worth of 3D textured buildings. Microsoft has several complete cities with textured 3D buildings. Which is pretty cool. With Google’s implementation, any one can create and add 3D buildings to the 3D Warehouse – and they may get selected to be a part of the new layer. I’m looking forward to seeing both approaches evolve over the next year.
Read about other new layers added today as well.

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.


  1. Very nice models but the navigation should be improved. I want to walk between the skyscrapers of Manhattan!

  2. wow, these are really cool! It looks like most of Downtown Denver is 3D now.

  3. W-O-W that’s pretty cool. There are hundreds of Buildings around the world

  4. smokeonit says:

    the german reichstag in berlin and it’s flags look like straight out of legoland;-)

  5. there is new 3D data created for alexandria (egypt) for google earth users, u can make a post about it if u want to, provided at
    www. infopot .tk

  6. this is great!!!!!wow wow wow

  7. First, I’m a big fan, keep up the good work.
    Second, I recently posted on my blog comparing this feature in Google Earth and Virtual Earth here – with some screenshot comparisons:
    I’m sticking by Virtual Earth being ahead of Google Earth on this, but maybe with the recent Sketchup 6 release there’ll be more user-generated content. But I’m not convinced yet.
    Gotta love competition.

  8. BULLdozer says:

    I’s really cool! But a have some questions. First of all how do I put my models to this layer? Anyone know how?

  9. wow, these are really cool! It looks like most of Downtown Denver is 3D now.

  10. wow, these are really cool! It looks like most of Downtown Denver is 3D now.

  11. I would like a 3D biulding google Earth please for my Family

  12. Anshul jain says:

    This software is purely imaginative and par expressionless its a great achivement by google therefore i congratulate this invention by GOOGLE “EAST OR WEST GOOGLE IS THE BEST”

  13. This is awesome I can see the Grand canyon from this thing and Niagra Falls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. wow, these are really cool! It looks like most of Downtown Denver is 3D now.

  15. Please show me 3D building of GOOGLE HQ and how can i see the 3D preview of others

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