An amazing 3D tour of the Costa Concordia

Last week we showed you the fresh satellite imagery and tour of the wreck of the Costa Concordia. It was a great file that helped to show what happened, but now Peter Olsen (who just days ago unveiled the excellent Terra Nova models) has built an incredible 3D tour of the wreck, with the entire journey animated!


The speed has been increased to save time, so you don’t have to wait 2-1/2 hours for it to finish, but it’s otherwise as accurate as possible. To see it for yourself, simply visit the Costa Concordia Disaster Animation page in the Google 3D Warehouse and choose the “View in Google Earth” link.
If you’re not familiar with using Tour files in Google Earth, simply click the “Double-click me!” text on the left to get it started, then click the play button at the bottom to step through the introductory slides, as seen here:

Fully animated tours like this are a great way to recreate events, and Peter is one of the best around at creating them. A similar example you might want to check out is his recreation of the 1977 Tenerife Airport disaster from a few years ago. Great job, Peter!

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. GEB readers might want to compare with this animation on video with expert commentary on the grounding in the gCaptain maritime news blog
    whilst not using GE, it is based on the GPS systems that track every ship on every part of their voyages and can be visualised in GE or Maps.

  2. Probably as good an occasion as any to point out that Costa cruises can be tracked live in GE, with ship tracks and positions, onboard webcams and whatnot. Last I checked, the Concordia indeed is reported to sit just off the coast of that island:

  3. What good is it here?? when the image is over 10 years old for the black hills of South Dakota.
    If one were to zoom in to see a person it is so blurry tat you can’t tell what your looking at!

  4. This is bad I have a freind that had a trip on a cruise planed for months then this happened and see was worried about it. See went and is back now and had a great time but gave people something to think about.

  5. Paul van Dinther says:

    This video is in fact produced by and is based on a best guess simulation of the ships movements performed by them. I had this track data for a while but choose not to publish it because of the amount of simulated detail.
    I think it is better to be generic in guessing.

  6. @ Paul van Dinther – thanks for your observations, although I am not sure of the meaning of the last line. I was sent the link by an ex ship’s officer and like him thought the interpretation was plausible. The references to “GPS” are confusing, but there is a reference to tracking information from the ship being picked up and processed by GPS so it is easy to see how confusion could arise, and there was no reference in the video to simulated data as such.

  7. Paul van Dinther says:

    @Chris I watched the video and the narrative was indeed very plausible but not fact.
    There is a good chance the blackbox will produce something very similar. The fact that an ex officer from that ship thinks it is plausible is a pretty strong indicator but what I mean with being generic in guessing is that if there is too much detail in the guessed track people are inclined to take it as the truth. But the turn to port as I showed in my video is equally misleading. With my track I just tried to indicate a turn was made to get closer to land.

  8. Captain was drunk hahah

  9. This 3D tour is just amazing and it remind me of our Rome tour. I enjoy this tour as much as I enjoy in Rome, Italy a year back.

  10. But the turn to port as I showed in my video is equally misleading. With my track I just tried to indicate a turn was made to get closer to land.

  11. This time they made the post early, apparently.

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