New 3D Perspective in Maps API for Flash

Google has released a new “3D” perspective “mode” for Google Maps applications based on Flash. This gives a 3D-like experience to the 2D Google Maps (without the 3D terrain or 3D models from the Google Earth API). You can tilt and rotate the map and “fly” around Google Maps. One advantage to this is that Flash is pretty ubiquitous in nearly every browser, and requires less memory and graphics overhead compared to the GE plugin. The interface for the new mode borrows from the GE plugin – so it should be familiar to anyone who uses the GE API applications. One thing I immediately missed for the Maps version is the middle-mouse button option to “tilt” your view. Anyway, in the post, Google lists several examples created by Maps API developers using the new 3D perspective. Here’s one of the examples:

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 a video guy who uses GE-Pro for maps in video productions. For a long time I’ve wanted to see Google Maps’ Terrain view integrated as a layer in Earth, for a less busy, more graphic look.
    Would this API perhaps allow somebody to code a KML that allows you to see Maps/Terrain in Earth?

  2. Frank Taylor says:

    You can actually do this through a network link someone published:
    Here’s a Maps with Terrain network link based on the story:
    Zoom and wait a moment and it will load the tiles as an image overlay. If you turn off the automatic refresh, you can tilt your view and enjoy the terrain tiles with 3D terrain!

  3. dinther says:

    Google never ceases to amaze me. This flash based engine is just what I need for an new upcoming game. Nice thing with flash is that people don’t have to instal the ge plugin and the API is the same! awesome job Google.

  4. Google Earth just had an major imagery update today. The locations I saw with new imagery are:recolored imagery of Mexico, Egypt, all the Yugoslavian counties plus Albania, Western Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Spain new spot imagery of Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal and The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Most of Niger, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Western Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Madagascar, Angola, new imagery for more French Departments, and The blue-green waters of the Bahamas

  5. barakuda says:

    Update in Europe. Balkan Peninsula got image color change, no more “zebra” looking land, they made it all green. Im not sure but i think the rest of Europe is colorized to. I thing Spain had that weird grayish color in Catalonia and now it all looks like one image. Its good i guess … higher res images would be better. O well…
    And you can kinda see those stripes on Balkan with time slider. Serbia, region of Vojvodina was really funny looking 🙂

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