Google Earth, Now with 3D Trees
If it's good enough for every major movie in recent memory, it's good enough for trees. Google Earth 6 is out, and features "3D Trees." No special glasses required (and no ridiculous upcharges). Just think, maybe some day this will be the best way to show your kids what trees look like. Just kidding, hopefully.
It's like Joni MItchell sang, "They took all the trees/Put 'em in a tree museum." That was the 1970s. Nowadays, there's a living museum online, and the Big Yellow Taxi is Google Earth. As noted by the Google Earth Blog, Microsoft added 3D trees to a Virtual Earth a few years ago, before it was called Bing Maps.
"The initial release includes over 80,000,000 trees in a variety of cities including San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Athens, Tokyo and Berlin. In addition, they've build out some full forests in parts of Africa and Mexico.
The models are all species accurate, and look amazingly sharp."
Picking up on a previous TreeHugger topic, Google has worked with organizations to model threatened forests around the world.
This new venture brings the issue of development, parking lots and less shade closer to home (depending where you live). More than 50 species of trees are represented in the latest update. As always, it's best to view them in person.
"I think we can all agree that our planet without trees would be a pretty desolate place," notes the Official Google Blog. "Besides the ever-important task of providing us with the oxygen we breathe, trees are an integral part of the landscape around us."
Screenshot from YouTube video (top)
More on Google Earth
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New Google Earth Layer Shows Global Deforestation
Disneynature's Tree-Planting Marketing Ploy Good, But Not Perfect