Better Parks Layer Info, Rio 3D Terrain Enhancements

Parks and Recreation LayerA few years ago, we told you about the new “USDA Forest Layer” that had been added to Google Earth. A few days ago, Google added a ton more USDA info to Google Maps.
As Google announced a few days ago, the new parks info in the United States is quite comprehensive. In addition, they also seem to have added quite a bit of parks and POI data to Brazil, and possibly other countries around the world. However, many countries are still lacking the rich data found in Google Maps.
For a good example in Brazil, look at all of the green outlined park areas in Rio de Janeiro (fly to Rio in Google Earth), shown below:

Parks in Rio de Janeiro

While you’re in Rio, be sure to check out some of the cool 3D terrain models that they have. Because of the unique terrain in the area, Google sometimes can’t display things as well as they’d like. To compensate, users have added 3D terrain to go along with their 3D buildings, to help make them as realistic as possible. A great example of that is the famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue. In the image below, notice the missing terrain until the “3D buildings” layer is turned on:
Christ the Redeemer Statue

To activate the 3D buildings layer, simply choose “3D Buildings” from the list of layers in Google Earth as explained here.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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