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Google Releases Earth 7 With New 3D Image Data

By - Source: Google | B 6 comments

Google released a major update for Earth. Now in version 7, the application comes with sightseeing tours as well as new 3D imagery that replaces Earth's legacy 3D image data.

The sightseeing tours are now integrated as flyover movies inside Earth. The user can also access Wikipedia and image data to learn more about a particular destination. However, the much more interesting part is the replacement of the old 3D structures including buildings and trees with new 3D image data. The option is selected by default, but may not find many friends in this version.

While cities look impressive from afar, the quality of the data is not consistent. For example, Chicago downtown is rendered nicely, even with clearly displayed trees surrounding Buckingham Fountain. However, we noticed that especially trees are mostly rendered as ugly blocks that may have been better left out of this update. This shot shows Palos Verdes in California:

My hometown of Munich, Germany also did not get much love from the Earth team so far. The 3D data looks promising from a distance. However, zooming in reveals a rather messy environment.

Surprisingly, San Francisco also does not show itself from its best side. Below is a shot of the Palace of Fine Arts, with the current image from iOS 6 Maps beneath.

From Google Earth 7From Google Earth 7

From Apple Maps Flyover in iOS6From Apple Maps Flyover in iOS6

In most cases the legacy 3D data is much more appealing at this point. Fortunately, the new 3D view can be disabled via Tools/Options/Use 3D Imagery.

 

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  • 5 Hide
    jimjam_05 , November 2, 2012 10:12 PM
    What app did you use to create those images. using google earth on a computer or android it looks nothing like what you've put up. The trees look fine the buildings are not distorted.
  • 5 Hide
    greghome , November 3, 2012 12:11 AM
    Meanwhile.....in Apple Maps.....
  • 2 Hide
    southernshark , November 3, 2012 5:26 AM
    Looks like some kind of map app that Apple would make.

    Not very good, in other words.
  • Display all 6 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , November 4, 2012 4:31 AM
    lol really. You expect that Google or anybody for that matter can render trees as anything but blocks using satellite data? Hullo! Welcome to the age of magic where looking at something from the top can tell you what something looks like from the side and where data storage and processing power is infinite so that full landscape geometry can be inferred from street view data. Wake up dumbasses and realise that its about as good as its going to get for now until a swarm of autonomous mapping bots can scan the planet in minute detail. It looks much, much better than Apple's attempt to me though which I think is not surprising.
  • -1 Hide
    scooterboi , November 4, 2012 3:30 PM
    The_Trutherizerlol really. You expect that Google or anybody for that matter can render trees as anything but blocks using satellite data? Hullo! Welcome to the age of magic where looking at something from the top can tell you what something looks like from the side and where data storage and processing power is infinite so that full landscape geometry can be inferred from street view data. Wake up dumbasses and realise that its about as good as its going to get for now until a swarm of autonomous mapping bots can scan the planet in minute detail. It looks much, much better than Apple's attempt to me though which I think is not surprising.

    i wonder where are these kind of comments when apple release their map? oh wait, tom's is full of blind haters that's it.
  • 3 Hide
    Verrin , November 4, 2012 5:19 PM
    scooterboii wonder where are these kind of comments when apple release their map? oh wait, tom's is full of blind haters that's it.


    Blind? I don't think anyone has ever praised Google's 3D imaging techniques either. Apple Maps is just a terrible product all around, which is why it gets so much hate from anywhere. You have to be blind to think that Apple maps are a superior to Google's. 3D rendering aside (which is more form than function, i.e. not particularly useful on any platform), Google maps has accurate traffic, destination calculations and routes, local and route labels, business information, parks and bridges, and oodles of other well aggregated information. All of which Apple Maps has common or frequent errors in. I can use Google maps happily when traveling. But I can't use Apple Maps in the same way-- I have switch to another service on iOS like MapQuest or Waze, and most Apple users do too because the mistakes make its use too difficult! Everyone hates Apple Maps, including a lot of Apple users.

    tl;dr, Don't be an accusatory tool, please.
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