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Google reality

Google Earth has just added a hugely detailed database of 3D buildings to a lot of cities, including New York. Careful examination suggests that they’ve used imagery from their Street View project to fill in a lot of the facades. However, at a broad scale, the results are impressive:

New York from Google Earth

New York from Google Earth

And here is exactly the same view, from a photo taken by me:

New York as seen from 300 Mercer

New York as seen from 300 Mercer

A couple of years ago, a Playstation game was famous for its extremely accurate representations of Tokyo locations. This kind of information is quickly becoming a widely accessible, free resource. It is only a matter of time before the imagery improves in resolution, and is updated more quickly.

Incorporating imagery from something like Photosynth, from security cameras, or other sources will enable the creation of an utterly compelling alternative reality.

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