3D Model Roundup: Floorplan Star Trek, Bouncing Earths

  • Star Trek Enterprise in 3D in Google Earth

    Floorplan Star Trek – Google Earth Community member ‘PhilRichards’ has created an innovative 3D model for Google Earth. He has used the image overlay data type (an inherently 2D only type) showing floor plans (with transparent edges) from a Star Trek Enterprise spacecraft and laid each level on top of each other. The result is a 3D model of the Enterprise using the 2D floor plans. I’m sure this kind of thing has been done before by architects for buildings. But, this is the first time I’ve seen it done in Google Earth. This is a rather memory intensive way of doing it, and it takes a while to load, but you can move yourself around the image and see the 3D effect. He placed the model in the middle of the ocean in order to avoid adding to memory by having you load imagery and terrain. Phil also created the helicopter photo overlay I wrote about recently. Great work Phil! (and thanks to Gerardo Paz for the tip)

  • Bouncing Earths – Way back at the beginning of the year, James Stafford created an animation showing a bouncing 3D Google Earth inside Google Earth. James noticed that the new GE 4.2 update included some optimizations which improve its ability to handle multiple copies of the same 3D model. To demonstrate, he’s created a new version of the bouncing Google Earth with 50 instances of the GE 3D model. And he set up the animation to show each one bouncing at a different rate. You can download the 50 Earth time animation in GE (this may take a long time to load), or you can just watch this video (notice they also have shadows):

    Nice work as usual James!

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. This 3-d technology will open up the world.( more)
    I would use it to see the houses our architectural firm has sold.
    Too Cool.
    Jo Anne

Leave a Reply