Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Google 3D

While Mark Draughn reports on a second Beta of Google Earth (it doesn’t seem to be a public version as it asks you for a login), Tom Foremski of SiliconValleyWatcher says Google is planning to use laser-equipped trucks and digital photo equipment to create a 3D online version of San Francisco – and later on, other major cities. Tom writes:

“The trucks would drive along every San Francisco street using the lasers to measure the dimensions of buildings, to create a 3D framework onto which digital photos can be mapped. This would complement the mostly top-down view of San Francisco available through Google’s Keyhole satellite photo application. (...)

The Google 3D project would be used to highlight and distinguish the company’s push into local business listings—the next big opportunity in online advertising.”

John Battelle says “this sounds like April Fools, but it’s June,” and Nathan Weinberg adds:

“While the geek in me says ’cool’, the rest of me can’t figure out the application for this. The only thing that comes to mind is letting you walk down the streets in a full 3D environment, like a first person shooter.”

I don’t know what Google are up to this time, but they’re living up to their mission statement of screen-scraping the world in order to plaster its virtual copy with universally accessibly ads. I’m paraphrasing here...


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