Atlas of Ann Arbor:
The Google Earth®
Sandra Lach Arlinghaus
Note: Google Earth® and Google SketchUp® are both names trademarked
Part I of this work concluded with
the comment below (cyan background in table below). During the
meeting on June 9 (yellow background in table below), in which Part I
was displayed to a set of viewers, the authored noted (as does Part I)
that textures placed on buildings in Google SketchUp® did not transfer to Google Earth®.
Lars Schumann informed the author
on June 12 that a new version of Google Earth® and Google SketchUp® had just been released and that the new
version supported textures in Google Earth® (among other things). The links
below are links to files to load directly into the most recent version
of Google Earth®. Download the files, and then open
them in Google Earth® using the File|Open command. Also
upload the aerial. Then, you should see a section of
downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, complete with building textures applied
to modeled buildings (completely redone from the effort in Part
I). Given that the photographic textures were in good shape and
needed little extra work, it took about 15 hours to build the model of
6 blocks of the downtown--a small effort when compared with previous
work. The image that follows the links is a screen capture from
the smaller of the two files, showing textured buildings in Google Earth®.
|During the past 6 months
presentations of the 3D Atlas of Ann
1st Volume (without Google Earth/SketchUp®), were
given by the author
to various groups of community leaders. Particular wishes, beyond
was presented in that material were:
The Google Earth/SketchUp®
package enabled the entire wish list. It is
an important tool to add to the glittering array of software already
employed by many urban and environmental
- a desire to model buildings
- a desire to introduce detail at the level of a single
(awnings, window displays, design elements of the building, and so
- a desire to measure the effect of shadows
- a desire to be able to add buildings oneself, in
considering possible sites for future buildings
- a desire to build an Ann Arbor game
- a desire to be able to own easy-to-use software and do all
modeling on a home computer, or a city council computer, with no
additional purchase of software.
|What remains, beyond the obvious
(but time-consuming) completion of all buildings and field-checking of
heights and facades, is:
- to integrate the effect of terrain
- to learn to transform the files into a format that will
play out in an immersion CAVE or other interesting 3D visualizations.
June 9, 2006, the author
presented the material in this article to an invited group at the 3D
Laboratory of the Duderstadt Center at The University of
Michigan: John Nystuen, Gwen Nystuen, Fred Goodman, Ann Larimore,
and Bart Burkhalter. Staff of the 3D Lab were also present for
some or all of the presentation. Click here for photos from the
event: photo 1; photo 2.
- Aerial link: image.
Load directly into Google Earth®. It will be positioned
- Main Street, historic district (first image below)
- Buildings, small file
Mb): Load directly into Google Earth® and drive around the streets--3
- Buildings, medium file
(4.4 Mb): Load directly into Google Earth® and drive around the streets--4
blocks. Source of the image below.
- Huron Street, buildings (9.5 Mb) link
to file for Google Earth®;
interesting modeling of buildings in Google SketchUp® (second and third images below).
- All Buildings, large file
(10.8Mb): Load directly into Google Earth® using a Pentium 4+ machine with at
least 1GB of RAM.
The author thanks Michael Batty,
University College London for his encouragement in with respect to the
upload. She thanks Lars Schumann of the 3D Laboratory of The
University of Michigan for pointing her to Google SketchUp® and
especially for his continuing follow-up on the topic. She
thanks Professor Klaus-Peter Beier (The University of Michigan College
of Engineering) and the staff of the 3D Laboratory, as well as Matthew
Naud (Environmental Coordinator, City of Ann Arbor), for their
continuing interest and encouragement in all aspects of this project
over the past 4 years. Merle Johnson of the City of Ann Arbor
kindly supplied images of various sorts for this and for related
projects. For a full list of all individuals associated with this
project, please see the online 3D
Atlas of Ann Arbor also on the IMaGe website.
Solstice: An Electronic Journal
of Geography and
Institute of Mathematical Geography, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Volume XVII, Number 1.