Since this week Germany’s capital Berlin is available as a 3D model within Google Earth. In difference to other 3D worlds already available in Google Earth the buildings within the virtual Berlin have detailed architectural representations including their photorealistic facades. Some buildings can even be visited or entered virtually.
So far the present model covers about 10% of the area of Berlin – only a small sample of the official three-dimensional city model of Berlin.
The model consists of some 44,000 buildings in the centre of Berlin shown in rudimentary detail (level of detail – LOD – 1). Of these, about 500 particularly significant buildings have been assigned photos of their respective façades.
A further 40 outstanding buildings or complexes are available as detailed architectural representations (LOD 3) on which, aside from their facades, for example their oriels and pillars have been rendered.
In addition to this, five selected buildings are available in the highest resolution. These buildings can be “entered” and “visited” virtually (LOD 4). They are the Reichstag Building (the seat of the German Parliament), the new Hauptbahnhof station complex, the DZ Bank (formerly DG Bank) building on Pariser Platz, the Sony Center, and the Olympic Stadium.
The data for the 3D rendering of buildings are streamed from a server farm run by the city of Berlin and are loaded into Google Earth on demand.
To run the virtual Berlin (Google Earth Version 4 required) follow this link.
The project team creating the virtual Berlin during the last years is a partnership between German public and private organizations including the city of Berlin.
Other cities in Germany (Dresden, Hamburg) are currently developed by other teams and are nearing final rollout stage for similar detail levels.
Berlin 3D with additional screen shots and video(s)
3D Geo with additional screen shots and video(s)
Google Earth Blog and a video created by Google Earth Blog on YouTube
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