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bic

Florida's Downtowns From Above

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If you haven't already heard, Google just introduced a new product called Google Earth. After acquiring the satellite image program Keyhole, Google used its technology to help create Google Maps, which by now most all of us have become acquainted with. Well, Google has taken it one step further with Google Earth. Besides it being a revamped version of the Keyhole program, Google Earth allows you to view 3-D models of major cities' downtown buildings. Here are some examples:

Miami

earthmiami14le.jpg

earthmiami21yr.jpg

Tampa

earthtampa16oe.jpg

earthtampa29sy.jpg

St. Petersburg

earthstpetersburg13cb.jpg

Ft. Lauderdale

earthftlauderdale15mc.jpg

Unfortunately those are the only cities in Florida modeled with 3-D structures, so Orlando and Jacksonville will have to wait to go vertical. Nevertheless, it's an extremely powerful tool which should get a lot of use on these forums. Check it out at earth.google.com.

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thanks for posting these bic , they look great although they don't seem up to date...miami's 3-D map looks like it's from 2 years ago considering all of the land along the bayfront is full of highrises now.

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Awesome, BIC!!! I looked at the list of cities they have and I see both Jax and Orlando on it. Any chance you could add the pics for those two cities, BIC?

The city list also posts the date the pic was taken, all mostly from 2002, so yes they are dated. Still very cool though and it would be great to have those pics as a comparison to now!

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Awesome, BIC!!! I looked at the list of cities they have and I see both Jax and Orlando on it. Any chance you could add the pics for those two cities, BIC?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think the list you're looking at is just the Google chart that tells you which cities are viewable via satellite, the date the photo was taken, and its resolution. Yes, Jax and Orlando have these images but they don't have any 3-D buildings. So if you want to roam around either of those two cities (and not see buildings), you can do that at maps.google.com.

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I think the list you're looking at is just the Google chart that tells you which cities are viewable via satellite, the date the photo was taken, and its resolution. Yes, Jax and Orlando have these images but they don't have any 3-D buildings. So if you want to roam around either of those two cities (and not see buildings), you can do that at maps.google.com.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:( Darn. Okay thanks though.

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Those of you who read the Orlando forum have probably already seen this, but this is for everbody else.

Since Downtown Orlando was not modeled in 3-D by Google in their Earth program, I took it upon myself to do so. Not only that, but I added in the buildings that are currently proposed or under construction to show what the skyline will look like in a few years. Here's an image of what I'm talking about:

273wf.jpg

Teal indicates proposed, orange is under construction, and gray indicates existing buildings.

And now you can experience this model of Downtown Orlando in your own Google Earth program. Here's what you need to do:

1. Download any version of Google Earth...the free version will do.

2. Click on this link to download the "Downtown Orlando.KMZ" file. Right now I'm using YouSendIt.com to host the file, but that will only last for 7 days. If somebody from this forum could step up and host the tiny 31kb file permanently, it would be greatly appreciated (UPSDAN, I'm looking in your direction).

3. Save the file to any directory.

4. Open Google Earth, click "File" and then "Open." Go into the directory you just downloaded the file to and select it to be opened.

5. Voila! All of the buildings should appear in their correct locations in Downtown Orlando, and you should see a new folder called "Downtown Orlando" under "Places" on the left side of the Google Earth tool bar.

That's all there is to it. Hope you enjoy!

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Very impressive work. What program did you use to do this with? Would it be too much to ask if you could do the same for Jacksonville?

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I used Google Earth Pro.

I wouldn't be able to do it for Jacksonville or any other city, as I'm nowhere near as familiar with it as I am with Orlando. It's pretty easy to trace the footprint of major buildings and extrude them to the correct official heights, but once the major ones are out of the way, it takes a lot of estimation and looking at pictures to model the less significant ones. The buildings themselves are a breeze to model and can be done very quickly (less than one minute each), so perhaps one of the Jax forumers could take on the project.

But yeah, I can't imagine trying to model a city without having in-depth knowledge of the existing buildings and plans for proposed ones.

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I appreciate your honesty. I too have Pro but can't add more than basic pixels with the included tools, very dissapointing. Are you creating the 3D images in Sketch Up, as others have, and then importing them into GE Pro?

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No, I'm creating them all in Google Earth. Try this if you haven't already:

1. Click "add polygon."

2. Check the "advanced" option.

3. Select whatever color you want your building to be, make it "filled" only, and set the opacity to 100%.

4. Under the location tab, make sure you set everything as "relative to ground" in the altitude section.

5. Check "extrude buildings vertically"

After that, go ahead and draw your polygonal base, and type in the building height when finished.

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FYI, Google has updated the Jacksonville and Tampa/St. Pete image sets with new "very high" resolution imagery (taken in 2004 for Jax, 2002 for Tampa).

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