Looking at the new 3D in New York City

Last week Google updated the 3D imagery for New York City and San Francisco. We had a brief look at New York and noted a problem with Street View crashing Google Earth. We also had a look at some interesting effects in the 3D around San Francisco.

GEB reader Jebster noted that the New York streets seemed curiously free of cars. Closer inspection reveals ghostly images of cars, and in some cases multiple images of the same car. It appears Google is using a new technique that we have not seen before, which involves merging multiple images. The overall result is that the roads appear to have fewer cars than one would expect. We do not see this technique being used in the San Francisco imagery.

Ghost cars
Ghostly images of cars in New York City.

John F. Kennedy airport
Some particularly good aircraft models at John F. Kennedy airport suggest Google manually improved on them. A noticeable absence of aircraft on the runways of what is a very busy airport suggests they were removed with the same technique used for moving cars.

Bridge overlap
There is an overlap between the old and new 3D imagery and they are not aligned perfectly, resulting in this broken bridge.

See the features discussed above in Google Earth by downloading this KML file

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.






PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.

Comments

  1. I am not sure if this has anything to do with the recent updates to 3D geometry but there is a pretty weird situation in (or around) California’s Salton Sea.
    Although the lake itself does not have any of GEs Water the Land to the West and North does.
    There is a Wall (geometry glich?) which goes up to 0m and GE probably automatically gives it a Water surface.
    Just search for Salton Sea Beach, CA 92274
    Reminds me of similar things like the hole that Incheon’s port was in until recently or Lyttelton (Harbour for Christchurch,NZ ) just that it is far in land

    • If google earth is freezing or crashing when using street view:
      Go to google earth “options” and change memory cache to 1000 or higher if that was already the setting to fix crashes. This fixed my problem.

      • Owen Hamilton says:

        I tried that (the maximum is 1024Mb) but it made no difference.

      • Thanks, but unfortunately resetting to 1000 made no difference to Street View crashes even after the GE app was restarted a couple of times as the cache pop up in ‘preferences’ (on a Mac) instructs. But it seems to have stopped GE crashing when pages linked from places are opened. So what size cache setting did you make, and did you happen to make any other changes at the same time?

  2. May be Google are clearing the streets for their driverless cars … but before indulging in “new technique” it would be good if they could sort out their existing techniques and stop Street View crashing in places with new 3D imagery (see GEB post and comments of 15 December).

  3. I suggest you create 3D imagery of New York City at night it It would look beautifully 🙂

  4. According to some – (manually corrected) bridges are the main reason why we still can’t see cities like Budapest, Prague and Barcelona. Do you think it is the reason of such long delays?
    Every country have at least two travel destinations: Capital City and “tourist city” (Madrid an Barcelona, Warsaw and Krakow, Bern and Zurich). First – Google should provide 3d coverage of these 2 places in every civilised country (in Switzerland it did), and only then start to make 3d mesh of small towns in Romania or Bulgaria (now is the opposite).

  5. PurpleHaze says:

    I think they do this because of terrorism concerns. Since Google is well known they probably receive threats and demands by other governments and agencies and don’t want to be sued anymore so they are playing it safe which never bodes well for the future.

    Google is becoming Microsoft which chose the *play it safe* route.



PLEASE NOTE: Google Earth Blog is no longer writing regular posts. As a result, we are not accepting new comments or questions about Google Earth. If you have a question, use the official Google Earth and Maps Forums or the Google Earth Community Forums.