3D Dresden in Google Earth

Dresden in 3D in Google EarthThe City of Dresden, Germany published today a huge collection of 3D building models of their city for viewing in Google Earth (also, see German version of the web announcement). Over 150,000 buildings are reported (German article) to be in the collection. That would make Dresden the city with the most number of 3D buildings available for Google Earth to date. The models were generated in collaboration with the companies virtualcitysystems GmbH from Chemnitz and 3D Geo GmbH from Potsdam. Unfortunately, they apparently were not prepared for the huge throngs of Google Earth users who would want to see the collection. I’ve been waiting several hours on this story to get access to see the models. But, no luck so far. The servers have apparently been overloaded. Here is the link to start the City of Dresden 3D building network link. Once it loads, double click on the Dresden3D folder – or enter “Dresden, Germany” in the “Fly To” window to fly to Dresden. Then, if their servers are working smoothly, you can zoom into different parts of the city and the models will load. In the meantime, there are some links to PDF screenshots of the new 3D Dresden on the German page here.
[UPDATE 10-July 0800 ET: Late last night I checked and got to see the new Dresden models. The collection is quite impressive. Some of the models are quite detailed with quality photo textures. Most others also have photo textures, and a few scattered ones do not – but, still give you a feeling of the dimensions of the city. Here is a video from Spiegel Online (thanks to GEB reader Mathias). Note: the video appears to have been done before they finished many buildings with textures.]
What I would like to know is where are those 3D building models that Hamburg claimed they were going to be releasing soon back at the beginning of the year?

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. John MacAdam says:

    Very nice. I like the use of colors. The upload is a little slow, however.

  2. smokeonit says:

    yes, very nice, berlin and now dresden;-)
    hamburg sucks though… unbelievable they still haven’t come up with their promised database…

  3. I like it very much to see more and more cities get digitized. Especially if I already have been there and “know” those cities.
    But I see an issue of insufficient internet bandwidth and 3d performance. If we get used to see the cities in 3d, we don’t like those long times to wait until they are loaded (ok, in this case the city of Dresden needs more powerful servers). For me it makes sense Google implements a kind of Level of Detail (LOD) sensitive loading of 3d objects.
    I can’t wait for the first ego shooter playing in a digitized city 🙂

  4. Dresdener says:

    Dresdens model is not that good it looks like in the first place.
    It is true, Dresdens tourist attraction are really good and very detailed. I love these ones. But a closer look aside tourist paths show reasonable weaks of the model.
    Almost all roofs are missing. Some buildings are completely wrong, like the Christuskirche (51°01’38″N 13°45’55″O). This is one of Dresdens bigger churches. It has two towers looming 66 meter into the sky (pictures can be see here: http://www.christuskirche-dresden.de/ ). Its model is not one story high.
    And what really hurts, textures of almost every common house are wrong. Actually, textures seem to be picked arbitrarily from a small pool.
    With missing roofs and fantasy textures the most parts of that model are not substantially better than GEs grew cubes in north americans major cities. It only looks nicer. But it is not more information about reality. Quantity is not quality.

  5. Dresdener is absolutely, 100% right. Well said.

  6. smokeonit says:

    i disagree!
    i think it’s better to get some data than NO data!
    of course there are some inaccuracies…

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