New Layers – Yelp Reviews, Textured 3D Buildings, Brazilian Roads, and more

Google has released new layers today. Probably the biggest addition is the Best of 3DWarehouse Buildings layer (read more below):
New/updated layers:

  • Yelp Reviews – A new Featured Content layer of reviews from the web site which hosts reviews by people who have been there.
  • 3D Buildings – Google has decided to make the large repository of quality 3D buildings from the 3D Warehouse easier to view. If you have the latest GE 4 beta, 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 (using a network link). You can also still download the 3D Warehouse network link to find even more 3D models and select the placemark to load them up. See this for more details.
  • Roads of Brazil – Remember a few days ago when I said some of the new roads for Google Maps were not in GE? Well, they at least added the new ones for Brazil. But, where is Australia, New Zealand, etc? In fact, the crude base layers of roads for those two countries are gone now. Maybe that’s a sign the new road layers are coming.
  • Geographic Web – there seems to be a lot more Panoramio photos in the “Geographic Web” layer.
  • “Sunrise Earth” – Under the “Featured Content” layer you will find “Discovery Network“, there is now a new sublayer called “Sunrise Earth“. This shows placemarks for locations where Discovery HD has “Sunrise Earth” programs and if you click on the placemarks the picture is a link to 2.5 minute video clips from the programs.

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. Ann Zawistowski says:

    it’s great that there are 3D buildings on Google earth. I would love to see 3D of the mountains, etc. like the Alps, Andes and the Rockies. Maybe someday.
    I love Google Earth! I can’t travel to all the places in the world, but it is fun flying there via Google Earth. I can see views and find out lots of info, and even see sunsets, etc. Fantastic!

  2. You’ll find their already is 3D data depicting the mountain ranges you’ve mentioned – you may need to turn it on by going under the Primary Database and checking Terrain.
    I’m looking forward to more detail of Mt. Rushmore – perhaps Google will put some detail on the fairly round DEM/DTM (Digital Elevation Model/Digital Terrain Model) for Presidents Day or Independence Day.

  3. When will aerial shots be updated for San Diego County? They are so outdated…

  4. Yelp is so cool because I’ve found many great restaurants, my manicurist and doctor! lol Glad you added it because the reviews are written by real people, Not advertisers, so that is why I love it.

  5. What happened to the Yelp reviews layer? I thought it was a great addition!! Bring it back!

  6. Nice article! I am a fan of Yelp! However, I seem to find myself using other business review websites such as and more often. I am not sure why, I guess I am just a fan of the underdog. lol.

  7. How can I add Yelp as a layer? I just downloaded Google Earth 4.3 and do no see Yelp review sites on the maps or in the layer options. Or can anyone point me to an FAQ/Forum where I can get info on this?

  8. Ginger Sanders says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! This will be really helpful for a lot of businesses, like animal hospitals chicago for example! Thanks for the amazing tips!

  9. Tina Dole says:

    This was a great article. I was looking for recommendations of plumbers salt lake city utah area. I would really like to get everyone’s opinions on who I should call. Thank you.

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