More Embedding of 3D Warehouse Model Views

Google has enabled another feature in 3D Warehouse to make it easy to share a specific 3D model. You can now embed your choice of either just an image, 3D view, or a Google Earth browser plugin view for any specific model (the latter only works if the 3D model is a GE placed model). You look below the model for the button “Include” to get your choice of embedding and the code snippet you copy/paste to your web site/blog (more instructions in link above).
The “3D View” option gives you a quick low-resolution look at the model. It loads fast, but doesn’t have much of the detail of the original model. The interface is very simple – drag mouse to rotate left or right, and use mouse scroll wheel to zoom in/out. That’s pretty much it. The view also doesn’t show the terrain or imagery from Google Earth. The “Google Earth” view uses the browser plugin to show the model in its saved geographic location (this option won’t appear for models unless they’ve been placed in GE). You could already choose the option to view the model in Google Earth, but now you can embed this way of viewing on your page through this simple option. One suggestion I’ve made to Google: I think they need to include the navigation gadget. Some people aren’t familiar with the basic mouse navigation moves to view a 3D model in GE.
For example, here is a model from 3D Warehouse of the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico by ‘mark s‘. First see it with the “3D View“:

And now with the “GE View” (which happens to show how accurate the 3D terrain is now in Puerto Rico):

Here are some tips to looking around in the GE view: Use the scroll wheel by itself to zoom in out. Hold CTRL key down and use the arrow keys to turn your view around. Hold SHIFT key down and arrow keys to rotate your view. Or better yet, click and hold the middle mouse button (or scroll wheel – if you have one) to rotate/tilt around the model.

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. I’m viewing this page at work, without the GE plugin, and apparently the image defaults to the “3D view” if the plugin is not installed.

  2. Hmmm… it’s not working at home (with plugin!) either…

  3. I’m viewing the 3D model in Google Earth Plugin but after load, there was a small box in there, leaving the bigger partition stuck in the outer space!

  4. Another way to browse warehouse 3D content:

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