The 2010 Winter Olympic Games are getting closer and the buzz is already starting to build up. Those who just can't wait to see how it unfolds have a reason to be pleased, Google has introduced the 3D models for all the venues in Google Earth, enabling people to check out the locations well before the games begin, which should either make the wait easier or maybe harder to bare.
"[W]e've introduced photorealistic 3D building models for all nine venues of the Winter Games. Producing these models is a multi-step process involving both aerial and ground-based imagery," Bruce Polderman, product manager for Google Earth wrote.
Google Earth has amassed quite a few 3D locations, so this by itself isn't exactly that special or unexpected. But Google went the extra mile for these particular locations and has built all the models in-house. It also went to great lengths to ensure that it got its hands on the best imagery available to build the models themselves and also for the texturing.
It managed to acquire some quality aerial photos of the region, not that it would have been much of a hassle for a company like Google, which has now made its way into Google Earth and Maps as well. It also acquired some ground images of the nine locations where the events will be held and used all this data to build the detailed 3D models, using its very own SketchUp 3D modeling software.
Google went all out on the details and, besides the actual buildings, other objects got modeled as well, like the gondolas and spectator bleachers. Some models even have 3D trees around them. And Google says it's not done yet and will be adding more details as we get closer to the competition. All locations are now available in Google Earth, but if you're having trouble finding them, you can use this KMZ file, courtesy of the Google Earth blog.