A big week for 3D buildings; Five new cities added

Google typically releases a city or two with each 3D buildings update, but this week they dropped five on us! The new 3D cities are:
• Barcelona, Spain
• Bloemfontein, South Africa
• Port Elizabeth, South Africa
• Pretoria, South Africa
• Mulhouse, France
Not only is this a larger number of cities, but the quality of some of the buildings is remarkable. For example, look at this building in Mulhouse; the quality of the imagery used on the building is amazing.

Mulhouse, France

At first I thought maybe it was a separate model that was created by hand in SketchUp. However, those buildings are clickable so you can see the details about it, and this one isn’t. In fact, much of the city is in this same sharp quality. I then assumed they used StreetView imagery to model the facades, like they did in some California cities late last year. The imagery doesn’t quite match up (the StreetView images of the building shows flowers in many of the windows), but that could still be the case. Perhaps they used older StreetView imagery to help create the models? Regardless, they did a superb job and they look great.
The other city you need to take a close look at is Barcelona. The coverage there is quite remarkable as well. You can read about it on the Google Lat Long Blog, or watch this view tour that Google created to help show it off. Enjoy the cities!

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. There is a large area around MontbĂ©liard, France covered with textured 3d models; looks really impressive 😉

  2. I also found that Dijon, France went 3d too

  3. Finally South Africa get’s some much needed attention! The 3D cities are looking great. I bet Johannesburg and Cape Town will be next. The 2010 soccer world cup is definitely the reason for it all! Very cool!

  4. WOW! This is really incredible. The foreign cities were not so detailed as they are now. But I still had to go back to my old stomping grounds and see the John Hancock building in downtown Chicago. It was absolutely amazing. And I like the feature that allows you to make other buildings blocking your view to disappear from the screen. Thanks for the tip!

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