Entire City of Amsterdam Gets 3D “Gray” Buildings in Google Earth

Amsterdam 3D Buildings in Google EarthGoogle has just released 3D buildings for the entire city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. To see them, fly to Amsterdam , then turn on the “3D Buildings->Other buildings” layer in Google Earth. The building models are those simple, gray colored, type of models that give you an idea of the size and dimensions of buildings. Just like the 3D buildings that Google Earth first released almost two years ago for 35 US cities, and then later for most of Japan. These buildings will undoubtedly be used for the 2.5D views shown for Google Maps to provide an feel for buildings in major cities. They haven’t pushed the ones for Amsterdam into Google Maps yet though. If you turn on the rest of the 3D Buildings layer, there are some new buildings for Amsterdam modeled with better quality as well.
I guess its appropriate to give Amsterdam some special attention. After all, according to reports, half of all Dutch people use Google Earth!
Thanks to GEB reader Erik for the tip on Amsterdam. He was the first to report on this interesting new find. I’m sure there are other updates to the layers, but I’ll report on what they are in a later post. In the meantime, if anyone finds other cities which now have 3D buildings like this, please post a comment. I’ve already checked a dozen or so European cities, but this is the only one I’ve found.

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. Oh boy, are they ugly!
    This is worse than nothing, IMHO. I’m glad this only includes Amsterdam proper, so my place in the ‘burbs isn’t included. 🙂
    – Michael

  2. Here’s a good example of how little resemblance these blocks bear to actual Amsterdam canal houses:
    – Michael

  3. The panoramio-layer has been updated too

  4. According to Dutch media, it will be possible in the future for residents of the city to doanload their house and make it more realistic by themselves and then upload it again.
    I wonder if this means that you users can control the standard 3D buildings in GE more, then now with 3D Warehouse.

  5. For some of the more negative criticisms of updated gray-models in Google Earth (which if I recall captured the imaginations of people only a year or two ago):
    How do you eat an elephant?
    One bite at a time.

  6. Davod Shoajee says:

    I have a qustion aout 3D city models.
    I built whole of a city in KML and I want to know how I can share it in the Google Earth like New York or Amsterdam?
    Is it possile to see it automatically?

  7. Amsterdsm wasnt the first dutch city in google (3D). Rotterdam is available in kmz files, search in google and you will find. Next couple of weeks a newer version is released i heard, with more detail etc.
    Model of Amsterdam is of bad quality, gardenhouse being higher then the building itself?? lol.

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