Links: Glider Towing, 3D Bonanza, John Hanke Presentation, Google Maps Profiles, Virtual Earth 3D Modeling

  • Glider being Towed in Google Earth

    Glider Towing – GoogleSightseeing highlights a great plane in flight find showing a glider being towed to altitude in southwestern England. See it here go to You must have GE installed.”>. The amazing thing is that this aerial photo is clear enough to see the tow cable – probably due to the right sun angle glinting off the cable. The sighting was discovered by Noisette at the GEC.

  • 3D Bonanza – The 3D Warehouse can help you find all kinds of interesting model collections in Google Earth. Some 3D building collections are amazingly detailed. Fly to “Beaver Creek, Colorado ” and turn on the 3D Buildings layer for a very detailed model of this ski village. Even the chair lifts are models (and there’s no lift lines! Hmmm). Note: depending on your connection and computer, this collection may take a while to load due to the detail.

  • John Hanke Presentation – John Hanke, Director of Google Earth and Maps at Google, and the CEO of Keyhole before it was bought by Google, spoke at Berkeley where he got his business degree (video here – Real Player required). This is a fascinating lecture as it tells the story of his several business ventures and the challenging history of Keyhole before it was acquired. Also, at the end he shows some interesting slides about the success of Google Earth. I especially liked the heat map showing all the placemarks on Earth in their search index on a map. He also shared a photo of the fleet of cars Google is deploying to take Streetview imagery which was taken by a blogger. Well worth watching if you want to know more about the history of Google Earth. Video discovered via this blog post.

  • Google Maps Profiles – Google is increasingly adding social networking elements to Maps. This week they announced you can make a real profile of yourself in Google Maps (picture photo, pseudo, and other info), plus when people look at your photo they can see your reviews, photos, links, and the My Maps you’ve chosen to share. They also made a video talking about the new profile features presented by SketchUp newsletter Googler Tasha.

  • Virtual Earth 3D Modeling – There haven’t been many blog posts about this, but when Microsoft released their big update to Virtual Earth this week they also released a free application for building 3D models. This is not a SketchUp killer or anything, but it was yet another move to have the same suite of tools Google has created for Google Earth (gee, is this a competition or something?). Earthware Blog has three posts mentioning, showing a video demonstration, and comparing Microsoft’s 3D tool to SketchUp.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.


  1. Can’t access “Google Maps Profiles” maybe not yet for México…only the USA is present in the list.
    The rest of the American continent is presently ignored. I can put the mark on México, but it won’t accept Postal code nor Telephone. Only for Spain…in Europe.
    First Google Earth BIG deception: maybe Microsoft will include THIS CONTINENT faster than Google!!!

  2. When will google update it’s map of Montreal (QC) Canada? things change but it doesn’t show on the map.

  3. Hello Frank,
    The Virtual Earth 3D Modeling Demo is decent. The texture tool resizing feature seems easier in comparison.
    Will be interesting to see if the MS app. has similar tool functions that are in SketchUP such as , scale, rotate, offset, follow me (one of my favorites) etc.
    Thanks for the input, will check out the MS app. as soon as i get finished preparing for winter.

  4. Barton Griesenauer says

    Dear Google–
    My name is Barton Griesenauer. I am a GIS Specialist for a government agency in the State of Indiana. I create, maintain and customize maps daily for a variety of individuals and businesses. When viewing areas outside of my data range I often use Google Earth or MapsLive. Both of these resources are great for exploring places you may want to travel and for directions for unfamiliar visitors. I have noticed inconsistencies in both of the sites’ data when it comes to the dining, lodging, and services layers. I have attached a comparison between Mapslive and Google Earth and you can see that the Noblesville, Indiana White Castle is 700 feet off in the GoogleMap version. Maybe your intention isn’t to be exact and just give a relative location, but when there are layers of data turned on its really distracting to see businesses jumbled all over the area not to be in their true location. I have seen the good use of GIS online and the bad uses. Mapquest, for example, constantly shows addresses in incorrect locations. Your site could be fabulous in all aspects instead of just great aerial photography. I was curious on the process in which these nodes were placed. Also, I was offering my services as a contractor for the Indianapolis area to move these nodes into correct position. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Missouri and I have worked in the GIS industry since 1998 here in the Indianapolis area. I think it would be easy on both ends to edit this data and make it more accurate. Raw abstracts cans be sent to me, I make the correct adjustments and then send the adjusted data back. You could really make use of the GIS personnel living throughout the United States. I would love to talk/email and discuss the possibility of this opportunity for both of us. Not trying to correct the whole site all at once, but the Indianapolis area would make a great pilot.
    Thank you,
    Barton Griesenauer

  5. I have an idea for Google Earth. Weather conditions/inclines/avalanche/rock slide/chain up locations/ rest areas effect all long distance drivers. Road maps don’t show problem or dangerous areas.
    I developed a great respect for long haul truck drivers after moving across the U.S.
    I live in the Seattle Area. Snow avalanches close I-90. River flooding closed down I-5. Millions dollar merchandise delivery delays resulted in both cases.
    Recently,I was searching for north/east/south alternative emergency evacuation routes. Volcanic Activity & Tsunami threats are a possibility. I realized that Google Earth is a fantastic planning resource. Imagine the global applications.
    My problem is how to connect with Google Earth?

  6. André Métayer says

    Hello from France,
    Very busy sky here !
    These gliders are visible on the 2002 picture…
    And on the actual picture in Google earth (2006) there’s an other, plane, a twin engins, in the same area !
    OK ! oK : we are here right on the final approch of RAF Dunkeswell airfield !
    Good time with your community

PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.