3D Buildings Layer Update – 11 Thousand New Models

[UPDATE 24-May-2009: The false Burj Dubai building appearing in Melbourne has been removed by Google.]
Google pushed out a new update to the 3D Buildings layer. They say over 11,000 new models were added this time. These are models mostly created by SketchUp modelers all over the world and posted to the 3D Warehouse. Google doesn’t yet publish a detailed accounting of what’s new (although I’ve asked).
Burj Dubai in 3D in Google EarthI did find an error in this update though. Someone placed a model of the Burj Dubai (the soon-to-be new tallest building in the world), showing the final step of removing the top crane. The problem is that the 3D building is shown in Melbourne, Australia (see here ). Google doesn’t usually let false location buildings show in the layer. Oops!
Although I agree with Google continuing to add all kinds of structures and objects into the layer, I do wish they would change the layer to say “3D Models” or just “3D” instead of “3D Buildings“, or add a separate layer. One thing added this time around are more wind farms modeled in 3D – like this one .
NOTE: make sure to turn on the 3D Buildings layer to see the models referred to by the placemarks above.

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. SittingDuck says:

    As a matter of fact hundreds if not thousands of ‘wrong’ buildings have been added in the update. The 3 categories include: untextured models, unfinished models, and non-existing models. This has occurred because at some point in the last few months every model in the 3D Warehouse automatically got considered as being ‘real, current etc’ which means that all fantasy and concept buildings have been reviewed, and many got added! : (

  2. davo499 says:

    As for Melbourne, I’ve had a folder saved with the additional 3d models in the sketchup warehouse. All the new models seem to be from there, which includes mostly decent, but very slow un-optimised models. There also a few good models that weren’t included.
    I have no idea how the Burj Dubai ended up in my skyline though, it absolutely dwarfs Melbourne. Saying that though, i haven’t actually been to the city in a couple of weeks, so maybe it was suddenly built here and no body told me!

  3. Google-Earth is very click-unfriendly. You click, but you dont know if its heard you.
    click the “Update” button, a new screen appears, which says “thank you” but where is the download?
    Eventually I clicked again, on a “download” link, so what was the big button about
    in the Prado Milan picture viewer, you click on a picture, a frame flashes by, vanishes. Am I supposed to wait? Google Earth sometimes does a nasty-click cascade … if you impatiently click several times, it saves them up, often resulting in an exit.
    ops: where is the official google earth comments?
    nb Google the search engine behaves nicely with clicks, I suspect the team at GEarth suffer from the bigBox syndrome – they never experience delays, so they dont design for them.
    A major reason for Google’s initial success was the clean-screen loook, which implied respect for low-speed linkers.
    GEarth lacks that respect.
    allow me to download updates myself.
    DownloadExpress is faster than you.

  4. Dawid H. says:

    They fixed Burj Dubai in Melbourne. Where to report other such faulty buildings?

  5. Google needs to focus more on updating aerials before this.

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