3 D landmarks in Google Maps

3 D Landmarks in Google Maps

Google Maps and Google Earth in particular would be significantly less fun and less useful without 3D models. Google has been relying on its own data as well as volunteer model makers to create 3D renderings of real-life buildings and landmarks.
Now, it's introducing even more detailed models for more than a thousand important landmarks around the world, when viewed in the wireframe mode that is the default in Google Maps.

"Landmarks have often served as one of the most useful ways to help navigate an unknown area," Google's Paul Messmer, a software engineer working on Google Maps, wrote.

"For example, a Parisian might tell a tourist, 'the cafe you're looking for is just north of the Eiffel tower' because the Eiffel tower is easy to spot and everyone knows how to get there," he said.
"In our ongoing effort to make Google Maps as accurate and useful as possible, we've significantly enhanced the quality of more than a thousand 3D landmarks around the world, making it easier to compare the digital map to the physical landscape," he added.

Many of the world's most famous landmarks have now gotten significantly improved 3D models in Google Maps. All you have to do is visit the locations and you'll see them in action, the feature is enabled by default if you zoom in close enough.

Google touts the benefit of these new models for navigation. It does make sense to a degree, even if you don't know the city you're in or the street names, you'll be able to spot familiar landmarks in Google Maps and link them to what you're seeing or the buildings you've come across.

Still, the most obvious use case, if you can call it that, of the new 3D models is simply to be prettier, always a good thing. Note that the new models aren't yet live in MapsGL, the WebGL-powered version.

Have a look at image showing difference between before and after addition of 3-D models by Google Maps.
Before and After of addition of 3D Models


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