Last month in celebration of the ten year anniversary of Google Earth, Google added some new layers under the heading ‘Voyager’. We already had a look at the new ‘3D cities’ layer last week. However, as we showed you with the ‘Satellite imagery updates’ layer, it is possible to download the layer data and import it into excel for further analysis. So today, we are doing that for the ‘3D cities’ layer. Specifically, we are interested in the population figures that are displayed in the popups.
First, we need to point out that we do not know how accurate the population figures provided are. We do not know what sources Google uses for population data. Also, we do not know to what extent the population figures correspond to the actual areas covered with 3D. There are four locations with a population of zero: two football stadiums in Brazil, Black Rock City in the US and Arches National Park in the US. There were also twenty small towns in the US with a stated population of 333. This suggests they were merely estimated. Similar patterns occur elsewhere such as three towns in Bulgaria each having a population of 6,699.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, has the largest single population figure, but this isn’t necessarily the largest population covered by a single 3D mesh, as many places have multiple triangles per mesh.
Given the above caveats here are the population figures by continent:
|Continent||Population||% of total|
Note that South Africa is the only country represented in Africa and Japan is the only country represented in Asia. Australia and New Zealand are counted in the continent of Australia.
Here are the figures by country:
Japan is the second largest, which is not surprising when you realise that Tokyo alone is listed as having a population of over 8 million.