Lisbon in 3D and a great oil spill visualization tool

A couple of neat things that just came out this afternoon…
Lisbon, Portugal in 3D: Google has just pushed out 14,000+ models in Lisbon to really make the city come to life.
You can fly there yourself using this KML file.
How big is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?: Paul Rademacher has build a neat tool with the Google Earth Plug-in that allows you to overlay the oil spill on major cities, to help you get an idea of just how large it is. Telling people that it’s 2500 square miles is one thing, but to see it overwhelm major cities gives you a whole new perspective.
It’s a very simple tool, but it’s very useful. The one addition I’d like to see is road overlays to help give a better sense of scale. In most major cities, the interstates are a vital part of the aerial landscape and could help with perspective. In any case, though, this is quite a cool tool!


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. Paul Rademacher says:

    Thanks for the post! I’ll try the Roads layer again and see how it looks. I’d omitted it because it made the oil spill itself hard to see. Maybe I can tweak…

  2. Mickey says:

    Paul — Good point. The oil overlay looks really sharp, and I can see how the roads would mess it up.
    I’m in Atlanta, and I can’t get any sense of scale around here without seeing I-285 circling the city. Maybe a roads toggle on the side?

  3. WLKPman says:

    Google also added Dortmund and Nurnberg, Germany in full 3d. And as I mentioned some time ago, Dijon, France and Montbeliard, France are in full 3d too but it seems that nobody have noticed my post 😉 Sorry for my English, I know it sucks 😉

  4. Wow!I really liked the oil!It is the most interesting thing i have seen at google earth (except area 51).And i really liked Lisbon at 3d.Good work!
    Go there:39 42’39.56”S, 78 32’45.67”W and find out…..

  5. Sebastian says:

    The oil spill overlay is really nice.
    In general, is there any simple way of doing other similar overlays in Google Earth or Maps?
    Many times it is hard to get a grasp of how big or small a certain foreign country/state/lake/city is, and it would be really nice if it would be possible to overlay the contours of a selected and familiar country/state/lake/city, so that it would be possible to get the sense of scale.

  6. Roland Jollivet says:

    This is really silly. How “big” an oil spill is, depends on how thick the oil is, and that’s not stated. One cup of oil can cover a football field.
    The Spill needs to compared, or stated, in terms of volume of oil only.

  7. I agree with Roland’s comment, it’s all about the actual volume.
    In fact, in my company we deal with oil spills all the time, and sometimes even the smallest spill looks bigger than life.
    The tool is pretty cool though!

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