Thursday, May 17, 2007

Amsterdam buildings in 3D on Google

No less than 170.000 buildings in Amsterdam are now available in 3D on Google Earth. So far it was possible to look at Amsterdam and recognise places and buildings, but now the department Geo and Real Estate of the municipality of Amsterdam has made 170.000 buildings available to users of Google Earth.

The department has a completely object oriented registration of real estate in the city. This implies that every building can be modelled digitally and in such a way the whole city can be constructed in a digital way. The 170.000 buildings have now been offered to Google Earth and are visible by clicking on the 3D buildings option. Within a few weeks all buildings will be available in 3D Warehousing of Google. Users can then download a building from the warehouse and adapt it with free program Google SketchUp. Ten of the most interesting buildings in the city such as the Royal Palace at Dam Square, Westertower (see illustration) and Central Station have been detailed in 3D and these are also available as a standard set in Google Earth.

3D Amsterdam in Google is now part of city marketing. Sometime ago SecondLive was part of city marketing for some municipalities, but now 3D is the new fashion. Immediately all kind of purposes are linked to it. One of the aldermen of Amsterdam saw a democratic use in it. People would be able to download the buildings now and be able to build on the future of the city. This sounds good and politically correct. But I do not see more than half a million people now running to their computer in order to construct their Amsterdam. But in a short time people will be able to download their own house and detail it with SketchUp and put photographs to the model. This model can then be placed back for viewing. In this way the city can be dressed up. As such it will be possible as a tool in (re-)construction projects for you can show the history with archived photographs and new proposals with the 3D program.

3D Amsterdam is collaboration between the municipality of Amsterdam and the Google subsidiary located in Amsterdam. It is just one of the links Google has as there are many parties in Amsterdam and in The Netherlands linking in with photographs, background information and visual additions to buildings. It all fits in the mission of the municipality to be a creative hub in the Netherlands and Europe.

There is now a tour of places and objects of interest available as well as a movie of the tour on and for Google 3D the following links are available:
Google Earth -
Google Earth and 3D -
SketchUp -
3D Warehouse -

Blog Posting Number: 756

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