Niagara Falls gets new 3D

Google added a number of new 3D areas over the weekend, amongst which was Niagara Falls, which lies on the border of Ontario, Canada and New York State, USA. For a list of other newly discovered 3D areas, check the comments at the end of this post or download our KML file, keeping in mind that it takes us a day or two to get new locations into the KML. Also of note in the new finds are Zagreb, Croatia (a new country, and capital city) and Prague, Czech Republic (a capital city).

Although Niagara Falls does have the old type of 3D model which includes an impressive spray effect and a rainbow, we feel the new imagery gives a much better overall effect as the whole region is modelled and the colours match well. You can still view the old model if you wish by switching to ‘historical imagery’.

Niagara Falls

Google’s automatically generated 3D imagery usually does very poorly with moving objects such as aircraft, cars, and water. Google has clearly had to manually touch up the model as it usually does for bridges and some buildings. If you get too close the edge of the Horseshoe Falls looks a bit too angular and the trees on the islands are not in 3D. The rapids above the American Falls have some major flaws in the 3D if you look up close. However, if you don’t get too close, the overall quality of the imagery is impressive and worth having a look at.

We believe the 3D imagery was captured prior to May 2013.

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.


  1. bubollofo says

    Prague and Zagreb are not present in the KLM file so far.

  2. Andy - Sheffield UK says

    Manchester, UK now in 3D

    • Blackburn, a few miles to the north, also got 3D imagery sometime recently, perhaps a little before Manchester, but both sets of imagery are rather sombre and there is an odd combination of remnants of lying snow with deciduous trees modelled in full leaf in parts of Blackburn.

  3. Milwaukee, WI (finally). Also St. Catherine’s, Ontario, which is near Niagara Falls, but appears to be a separate 3D zone. Negative updates for several other locations in the Great Lakes Region I’m keeping my eye on, including Green Bay, WI, Jackson, Ann Arbor and Saginaw, MI and London and Hammilton, Ontario. The “Where is 3D” map is yet to be updated.

    • Also negative: the Northern Detroit suburbs, Windsor, Ontario (except for some spillover from Detroit), Port Huron Mi/Sarnia, Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie MI/Ontario, Thunder Bay Ontario, and of the smaller towns I’ve checked in Northern Lower or Upper Michigan (bud didn’t expect much there).

    • New on April 8, Green Bay, WI. The rest I listed in this thread are still flat. The Green Bay coverage is from last summer, judging by the stage of highway reconstruction, and the revamping of Lambeau Field. There are a few odd things about the appearance of the stadium that may relate to the construction. The NW corner of town is still flat.

  4. You need to check your file. Dublin and few other places have been removed.

  5. Timothy Whitehead says

    We have updated the KML file with many (but not yet all) of the new finds.

  6. To add to the confusion over the extent of 3D imagery, Google appear to be unable to keep their own coverage map in the Maps Gallery up to dare

    Elsewhere there seems to be significant shifts away from third party use of Google imagery with, for example, the Google background underlay for the excellent National Library for Scotland (NLS) ‘georeferenced’ historic maps of Britain being replaced by Bing and other imagery

    No explanation has been given, but a few NLS KMLs with historic maps do still appear in the Gallery.

    • UPDATE

      A check today on Google’s 3D imagery map in the Gallery (link above) shows a recent proliferation of icons for new coverage in western Europe – too many places to list them all. Dates of publication seem not to be available, so progress is difficult to track but is welcome

  7. felipe leandro says

    they should add IguaƧu (Brazil-Argentina) and Victoria Falls (Zambia-Zimbabue) too!!!

  8. The 3D Imagery in Niagara Falls ON appears to be photographed in 2012 or earlier. A new tunnel has been bored under Niagara Falls to divert water to the Sir Adam Beck I & II hydroelectric stations. In the 3D Imagery, construction of the tunnel is visible near the hydroelectric stations and at the water intake. (The intake is atop the falls at 43.069428,-79.059244.) The 3D Imagery does not appear to be photographed in the winter since trees have foliage and the grass isn’t brown. Imagery dated 5/4/2013 shows the tunnel in service. News articles report it went in service in March 2013.

    There is a spelling mistake in your 3D Imagery map. You have spelled Gatineau QC incorrectly.

    I don’t know if you care but I am also noting that your map has place markers for both Aylmer and Gatineau. Aylmer is within the city proper or limits of Gatineau. Similarly, your map lists New York City, Queens, Toronto, North York and Etobicoke. Queens is a part of New York. North York and Etobicoke are within territory of Toronto.

    • Timothy Whitehead says

      Thank you for your comments. I will correct the spelling error. With place markers, we just look for the biggest towns/cities marked on the map and include them. In the case of Aylmer, it was added before the section that includes the Gatineau placemark.

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.