Remembering 9/11 with Google Earth

With today marking the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York city, we thought we’d again take a look at the ever-changing skyline of the city.
The best look at the old towers comes from this KML file from Patrick Griffin. In order to see the towers clearly, you can right-click on the new buildings and choose to “hide” them. They’ll come back the next time you start Google Earth.

world trade center

By simply flying to New York City in Google Earth you can see a few of new buildings well underway. In the screenshot below you’ll see One World Trade Center on the left, and Four World Trade Center on the right.

To get a glimpse of how the completed buildings will look in a few years, you can grab this KMZ file. It will be a number of years until they’re all complete, but Google Earth can help give you a great feel for what things will be like when they’re done.
wtc future

3D Imagery
All of that said, New York could look very different in Google Earth by next year. Google is rolling out their new 3D imagery to more cities, and they plan to release it for desktop users by the end of the year. Given the size and popularity of New York City, I would expect we’ll see a version of it using this new imagery before too long.
It will be interesting to see how the new 3d imagery compares to the existing 3d buildings, particularly in New York thanks to the amazing Street View-generated building facades that were added a few years ago.

It should be an interesting year to see how things develop!

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.

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