Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nanaimo Goes 3D on Google Earth

Screen shot of Nanaimo City Hall
on the website

Google’s Cities in 3D Program

comes to Nanaimo

NANAIMO - Already hailed by some media agencies as “The Capital of Google Earth,” the City of Nanaimo offers enhanced information to residents, visitors and disaster response agencies through its use of 3d modeling, and is pleased to join the Google Cities in 3D program.

Participating in the Google™ Cities in 3D program, the City of Nanaimo was able to provide Google with 3D buildings and an enhanced elevation model. This means that everyone from potential tourists to disaster response agencies will have a better experience finding their way around Nanaimo in Google Earth™, the powerful free mapping program from Google.

Although Nanaimo makes much of its information available for download by Google Earth users at the website, previously people needed to know about this website to take advantage of this. Leveraging the Google Cities in 3D Program to load data directly into Google Earth allows the City of Nanaimo to communicate this information to anyone in the world even if they never visit the web site.

Nanaimo Mayor Gary Korpan solidly supports the City’s participation with Google. “Our citizens can take pride in the efforts put forth by our staff in providing such a rich experience when visiting Nanaimo through Google Earth. This in turn enhances our economic development, and our efforts to attract tourists and business to our city,” he said.

The City of Nanaimo has been providing information for use in Google Earth since 2005. This unique 3D viewing platform empowers local residents and businesses to explore the City’s data in ways that previously required expensive professional software, and in many ways makes it easier to understand than traditional 2D maps. In addition, it makes the City more accessible to businesses considering relocation, and to tourists planning trips to Vancouver Island. Adding 3D buildings and an improved elevation model will only enhance these benefits. Providing this information to Google also allows improved response in the case of a natural disaster such as an earthquake. Even if the City’s web server is not available, people will likely be able to access Google’s services.

“We are pleased to see Nanaimo has decided to contribute 3D data as part of the Cities in 3D Partner Program,” said JL Needham, Manager of Public Sector Content Partnerships, at Google. “The Cities in 3D Program represents a continuation of our efforts to engage with content providers, including government agencies, and provide them with tools for making the information they produce more accessible to Internet users.”

Google and Google Earth are registered trademarks of Google Inc.

Editors Comments: I am as much a tech lover as most, but after visiting the website, I am not all that sure how useful this site really is. The first impression you get on one page, is that Nanaimo is all highrise buildings as far as the eye can see. It has lots of fancy overlays etc. but I really don't know who would ever really make much practical use of them. I am sure that the tech department at City Hall is having fun with it though.


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