We’d just about stopped wetting our pants with excitement over the immense pleasures of Google Earth. So imagine the burden on our underwear after finding a site that (1) makes bits of London 3-D and (2) allows one to…oh my shattered bladder…TRAVEL THROUGH TIME.
Digitally Distributed Environments, now prominently placed in our bookmarks, is the blog of Dr Andy Hudson-Smith. He works at UCL in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis building 3-D images and finding ways to visualise them on maps. Please, go to his blog now, and prepare to be dazzled.
The blog contains highlights from his centre’s research, including some add-ons for Google Earth that show famous landmarks in 3-D. But there’s more, much more than that. Panoramas, 3-D anaglyphs, movies of what would go first if London were to flood. In another post, an attempt is being made to map the underground in three dimensions. Because of security, they’ve not been able to obtain all the depth data required. So, showing that high-tech ideas are often underpinned by low-tech solutions, readers are invited to ‘count the steps down and email them in’.
Ancient maps of London have also been overlaid, allowing interesting comparisons between modern and old street patterns. And in the latest post, you can even download a long-demolished landmark, the Skylon, for display in Google Earth. (That’s it, to the left of the distant St Paul’s in our picture.)
One quibble, there seems to be no ‘About us’ link, so we’re not entirely sure what the bigger picture is here (sort it out, guys!). It looks like they’re working on a London-wide 3-D representation called Virtual London, which will hopefully be public domain if they can work through some copyright issues.
But enough talking…go and play!
Image created by the author in Google Earth using models from our new favourite blog.