New York gets 3D refresh

We usually look at the World Trade Center on the the anniversary of 9/11 and over the years we have seen models of the old Trade Center towers from the Sketchup 2D Warehouse as well as models of the new towers at various stages of construction.

In April 2013, Google gave New York the new 3D mesh showing the World Trade Center towers nearing completion. Now Google have updated the 3D to show the towers now complete. Thank you to GEB readers Ryan, Jonahrf, Wayne and Anton for letting us know. It is difficult to tell how much was updated, or exactly when the new imagery is from. The 3D mesh was extended further to the east, but apart from that the borders were not changed, suggesting that only some parts of New York were updated. It would be very helpful if Google was to start putting dates on their 3D imagery, as they do for satellite and aerial imagery. Another nice feature would be ‘historical 3D’. Currently, if you turn on historical imagery, then you get to see the old user contributed models, which for New York are pretty impressive and often better quality than the new 3D mesh.

World Trade Center
The World Trade Center. The reflections in the windows are particularly impressive.

Bridge
Google pays particular attention to bridges.

The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty. Do our readers know whether this was part of the recent refresh?

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. http://Ryan%20K. says

    I think the statue was part of the refresh, I don’t think it used to be so detailed. One thing that bugs me though is that the render distance for the 3D mesh is too close in my opinion (around 4-5 miles). For example, if you go to downtown Newark and look toward Manhattan, the island is rendered flat. If you go to the north end of Manhattan, you cannot see the skyscrapers of the southern end. This same effect also results in a disappointing flight simulator experience, as you cannot see any of the buildings when on approach to the local airports.

    I know farther view distances are possible because the cities of Chicago, Denver, Detroit, and Mexico City demonstrate distances of 10+ miles. Still, I am very impressed with the quality of this refresh overall, things look a lot better at least when viewed close up.

  2. http://Piotrek says

    When launching street view, application is crashed (at the NYC).

  3. It appears San Francisco also has new 3D mesh data. Image resolution has been noticeably improved.

  4. http://jebster says

    Most of the roads around NYC appear to be traffic-free. The resolution of the 3D mesh also appears to be significantly higher than it used to be (look at the trees). My guess is that the algorithm used to produce the 3D mesh has changed recently. Perhaps when moving objects are encountered, bits of the surrounding image are cloned to remove those objects, which would account for the lack of traffic on the roads. In some spots, there are full parking lots next to empty roads. At least this gets rid of the road artifacts which used to plague the 3D mesh.

    The 3D render distance may have been reduced to compensate for the higher resolution of the mesh.

    • Hi jebster, are you sure? There are certainly cars, busses and trucks on the roads in Manhattan. Where exactly are you seeing no-traffic?

      C3/Nokia used to go to effort to remove transient objects like traffic and watercraft. Google have not really bothered.

      • I take that back! I was using Google Maps not Google Earth. Okay so there’s some news!

        The imagery in Google is using transient object removal.

        Check out Columbus Circle (near Central Park) in Google Maps and then in Google Earth.



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.