Taipei 3D Models for Google Earth

While we are on the topic of 3D models, a GEB reader in Taipei, Taiwan named Steven Ho has sent me a collection of 3D models he has created for Google Earth. He has a blog (in Chinese) which shows off a number of interesting projects he has done. Of particular note is his collection of Taipei 3D Buildings (these are simple non-textured buildings, but they cover many buildings throughout Taipei).
Steven has also created a model of a new Taipei tourist attraction – a gondola system in the mountains near Taipei called the Maokong Gondola. He not only modeled the Maokong Gondola , but has also created a time animation showing it in use. However, this time animation is very memory intensive – you don’t need to turn on the 4D option though, just watch his YouTube movie:

Here are some details about it:

The Maokong Gondola was planned and built by Taipei City Government. It travels a distance of 4,030m with four stations at which passengers can embark and disembark: Taipei Zoo Station, Zoo Precinct Station, Zhinan Temple Station and Maokong Station. There are also two ancillary stations where the gondola changes direction. They are used to control the movement of the gondola and are not for passenger use.
The gondola is made of aluminum alloy and can carry eight people. This system travels at a speed of 3-5m/s and can carry a maximum of 144 gondolas at one time, a total of 1,300-1,990 passengers per hour in one direction. The shortest journey on the gondola is 17 minutes.

Google should probably talk to Steven Ho about his 3D buildings and including them in the default 3D Buildings layers. Great work Steven!

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. requires some fiddling with the elevation exaggeration before the geometry sits on on the ground.

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