3D Roundup: King Tut, Grand Canyon Skywalk, Google Solar Panels

Here’s a round up of some interesting 3D models for Google Earth viewing:

  • King Tut in Google EarthKing TutLast year, shortly after the first beta test of GE 4 came out, a GEC member called ‘atf’ released a 3D model of King Tut’s burial chamber with some textures. He has recently updated the 3D model with better textures and use of transparency so you can see the layout of the underground burial chambers of King Tut. After loading the file, make sure you open the folders in the “Places” pane so you can see the various views he has set up. Double click on each view until you get to the burial chamber.

  • Grand Canyon Skywalk – GEC member ‘pmaxfield2’ has posted a 3D model of the recently opened Grand Canyon Skywalk (see pictures). Since the default imagery of the building area actually drapes down the side of the cliff (due to lack of accuracy in the terrain, or photo placement), I posted an image overlay to kind of ‘photoshop’ out the error (which he has added to the file). Those of you who are better at this are welcome to submit a better overlay at the post thread. Thanks to pmaxfield2 for posting this.

  • Google Solar Panels – Last fall, Google announced they would be installing a 1.6 Megawatt solar panel installation at their headquarters in California. The panels will not only cover most of the buildings at the Googleplex, but will also drape several parking lot shelters constructed for the purpose of creating more solar panel space. For a brief while, the 3D version of the Googleplex actually showed the panels on the buildings in Google Earth – but, I guess Google removed them until the installation is completed. There is a version of some of the buildings (buildings 45 and 47) available, with the solar panels, which you can download for Google Earth 4 at the 3DWarehouse here. Turn on the “3D Buildings Layer” to see the rest of the modeled 3D buildings at the Googleplex. You’ll need to fly to the Googleplex to see the buildings. I’m sure Google will update the default 3D model for the Googleplex when they are ready to announce the completion of the solar panel installation.

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. The Tut tomb 3D placemark is great! But, the texture imagery shown in your sample screen capture does not appear in the placemark I downloaded. What gives?

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