While looking around Cape Town, South Africa in Google Earth recently, we noticed a 3D model of a large South African flag on Devil’s Peak. It is the old type of 3D model from the Sketchup 3D warehouse. It looks like Google’s quality checks missed it when it got added. There is actually no flag at that location, or at least not of that size. We measured it using Google Earth Pro’s measuring tools at approximately 123m tall. Although flags have been temporarily erected by hikers at that location in the past, as can be seen in the last image in this blog post, there is no permanent flag there. Also of interest is that the model was uploaded to the 3D warehouse on September 28th, 2013, just a few days before Google stopped accepting models from the 3D warehouse.
The flag on Devil’s Peak, Cape Town.
This is not the first 3D model to have incorrectly got into Google’s 3D buildings layer. Back in 2009, for example, a model of the Burj Dubai (later renamed the Burj Khalifa) was incorrectly placed in Melbourne, Australia. There are a few other models that do not reflect reality, but can be considered Easter Eggs rather than mistakes. These include the Blues Brothers Bridge Jump and the Tardis. The Tardis even includes Street View inside it, although it doesn’t seem to be possible to view it using Google Earth. Both these locations now have Google’s new 3D mesh, but if you switch to historical imagery, they can still be seen.
The Blues Brothers Bridge Jump
To find these locations in Google Earth download this KML file.