The Vancouver Olympics in Google Earth

The 2010 Winter Olympics are upon us, and Google Earth will show you around the venues with a wide variety of excellent tools.

Ski Jump

As part of the most recent StreetView update, Google has captured imagery from on top of Whistler, the ski resort where the Games will be taking place. The imagery was captured using the new “Street View snowmobile”. Here’s a quick video to show how it works:

More on the snowmobile can be found on Engadget, TechCrunch and Google’s own Lat Long Blog.
Of course, part of the joy of Google Earth is being able to fly around and see things for yourself. In preparation for the Olympics, Google has added a lot of great stuff to Vancouver to make it quite an experience in Google Earth. The city was given the 3D treatment early in 2009 and all of the Olympic venues were added in 3D a few months ago. Then they came back a few weeks ago with more updates to the 3D venues, leaving us with some awesome models to play with.
You can see all of the main venues by browsing the 2010 Winter Olympics collection in the 3D warehouse, or by browsing this collection I created on Earthswoop.
Olympics in Earthswoop

There’s also the 20 robotic searchlights that Vectorial Elevation has put up in Vancouver, which create huge “light sculptures” in the night sky. You can design your own sculpture using Google Earth or Google Maps, and the best ones will be used.
Vectorial Elevation

The last thing to explore is the New York Times Olympic Venue map. While it doesn’t use Google Earth, it’s an impressive 3D interactive tour of the various venues, and certainly worth checking out.

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.


  1. Google Earth is perfect for this event as is
    HD. Technology continues to enhance the sports fan’s experience. Looking forward to all the new stuff.

  2. omg! awesome! i am really looking forward to this event! =)

  3. Fantabulous idea – but the camera fogged up at as it was going down the mens’ downhill course!
    Check it out at 50.080665° -122.962507° !!!

  4. Great job, now if only Vancouver could get more snow in the next few days, it could look like in Google Earth. The robotic searchlights they are putting up in Vancouver also look beautiful.

  5. MeMyselfAndPi says:

    Cool, that’s really neat!
    I found a funny trick you can do with these 3D buildings, if you turn off the Terrain, the chairlifts stick up into the air! lol!

  6. That is not the only thing that Google did to be able to make net surfing faster. Well, they got a new broadband with a gigabyte speed. I don’t know if I want Google Broadband to work out or not. Granted, Google does offer some very competitive services. I allow that Google Broadband will probably be faster than other broadband services, and likely at prices that won’t send the average person running for payday loans for decent internet. What I object to is the fact that Google is slowly revealing itself to actually be Skynet, and will become self aware very soon and will then unleash Google Terminators upon the Earth and begin the robot apocalypse.

  7. Ok if somebody knows can you go inside buildings?? and how can i make the town and buildings more real

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