The Google Earth Diorama

Over the years we’ve shown you a lot of cool stuff from Paul van Dinther, including great games such as “Drive the A-Team Van” and “Ships“. He’s back with a huge new project that he’s been working on for months, and we’re thrilled to be able to show it to you: Diorama.
He calls it “Diorama” because there are many websites that have made attempts to utilise Google Earth to show map related information but invariably they all use static views and boring place markers to tell their story.
There is a lack of story telling tools for Google Earth and he decided that this can be done much better. Developing a fully customised Google Earth presentation is expensive but he had learned enough about the requirements to design a generic presentation engine that will meet most needs. Diorama runs on top of Google Earth and can be embedded into users web-pages. With Diorama, website owners can easily build very rich presentations using the simple sequence based Diorama API and the browser based code-builder toolkit.


Diorama can do so much more than other tools because it is not limited to the capabilities of KML. Diorama makes heavy use of the Google Earth API thus getting around the many timing limitations that are associated with KML tour data. He plans to grow the functionality of Diorama with the addition of a browser based editor, model animation and many more exciting new features.
If you’re not able to visit his Diorama page to view it right now, here’s a quick video that shows how it works:

Pedro Gipuzkoa, who has built some amazing 3D buildings in Spain, is using Diorama to show off his work in a Google Earth modelling contest. You can view his Diorama here.
Paul’s new project is very powerful, and could be quite useful in a variety of applications. His command of the Google Earth Plug-in is nearly unrivaled, and now he’s given the rest of us an easy way to create awesome interactive experiences for our own website visitors. Learn more about how it works and how to get started at or watch a short tutorial video 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.


  1. It looks like Diorama is a “Windows Only” download. Is this true?

  2. Paul van Dinther says:

    Hi Gary, it is not a download. You simply go to the site and start using it. It works on all modern browsers under Windows and OSX that support the Google Earth plugin.

  3. Scott Seawright says:

    About three months ago, I spent many days uploading photos (reviewed & approved) to Google Earth via Panoramio. I signed-up with Panoramio, using my Google account information. I spent countless hours in Panoramio, joined & created user groups and interacted with other members.
    Shortly thereafter, I went to look at my photos in Google Earth and while the tiny image and photo titles were visible, when I clicked on one to view it, the photo is blank and when I click on the “by USER-NAME” link, I get a message stating: “There is no user with id XXXXXXX.”
    When I go to Panoramio (without signing-in) and click on one of the groups I originated: “Islands Around The World,” the photos from the six members that joined the group were there, but mine were not there and no one was listed under “moderator”…(me). It would seem as if my Panoramio account has been removed…?
    Then when I go to sign in with Panoramio, I am unable to do so and keep getting the message: “Failed Signup or Upgrade – You cannot use a Google Account that has been previously used with Panoramio.” I have been trying to resolve this matter for over 9 weeks now and I’ve sent numerous Emails requesting assistance or information…all with no reply. What gives?

  4. “DIORAMA” is excelent tool, it has wery wide exploitation. I would appreciate enhancement of their functionality :
    -place button with name of focus where the view will focused after press -look at

  5. I have the same problem as Scott above. Any solution to this Panoramio errors?

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