Google Presents Seven Cities In 3D

    July 15, 2008

Here’s a bit of news that belongs in some strange borderland between cutting-edge technology and the plot of a "Corner Gas" episode: seven local governments have worked with Google to publish 3D models of their cities.

Amherst, Greenville, McMinnville, Nanaimo (British Columbia), Nashville, Jamestown, and Washington, D.C. should now be available for viewing within Google Earth’s "3D Buildings" layer.  Some of the models seem to have colors and textures; others are full of building-shaped gray blocks.

Washington DC 3D
 Google Shows DC In 3D

Regardless, though, Google’s expecting to see all sorts of good things happen as a result.  "Local governments can now better engage the public with land-use planning and redevelopment while fostering economic development," the company stated.  Also, "Enabling virtual tourism can also boost travel to these areas, as tourists can now appreciate what the cities have to offer and can easily preview their destination."

That may be a little overoptimistic, but so long as we don’t have a complete "Corner Gas" repeat, it’s hard to see the harm.  (Summary/spoiler: Hank, one of the show’s more eccentric characters, attempted to model a town using Lego blocks, and after running out of supplies, burned down a shed to make reality match his replica.)  Google Earth users always enjoy getting new sights to see.

As for the future, odds seem to favor that at least a few of the next cities to be shown in 3D will be located in Europe.