The Big Think

December 10, 2009


Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 11:15 pm

I just saw this incredible flyover of Detriot done in SketchUp. Google holds events and contest for people to model their home towns in SketchUp and then, crazily, we all do a bunch of work for Google for free! Brilliant. Anyway, my prediction is that within three years we start to see makers of flight simulator software licensing Google Maps and SketchUp maps to use as their backgrounds. Given another few years we’ll have near photo-realistic terrain for flight sims, then this huge Matrix version of our planet will get closer and closer to indistinguishable from the real thing. Eventually there will be real-time data all over the place in there.

What Google is building is astounding in its complexity and scope, and nobody else is even going to try and compete. What they are beginning now is the foundation of the next several hundred years of online mapping tech. Who knows where it will go?

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