Thanks for Bruce Lang for bringing this to my attention. Browser Plug In to Navigate the Earth, many cities are in 3D, I quickly browsed the East Coast and both Boston and New York look pretty sweet. Utilizing technology from C3 and from their blog:
C3 uses modern camera equipment to capture as many as one image per second of the same object from up to 100 different angles. The images are then used to automatically reproduce the shape of the objects with very high accuracy. After that, an image processing software automatically drapes each shape with the texture chosen from the pictures of each object. The same process is being applied for all objects – buildings, houses, trees, and hills – the result is a seamless canvas of 3D-data where the resolution (8 to 12 centimeters per pixel) and quality is consistent over the entire model. This is the secret to C3 maps’ realistic look compared to competitors’ hand-made and cartoonish appearance.
You can get the plug in here. Understand that the photo is screen shot from the product, you can spin it around change perspective, go around the building to the other side, sweet.
However, Why? Think of it this way, how many times do you use google maps, or live maps, in a week, in a day, to navigate, to check something out and then think of all the ways I can sell you stuff if you are using/looking at my map? So if I have better eye candy to get you in my store, so be it. Not like Nokia is a small company but certainly like to see people swinging at the hegemony. And did you notice the comment ‘competitors handmade cartoonish appearance.’ Who you talkin about Nokia.