Quarter Life Crisis

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Google Maps Shadows

151 words

I’m probably the last person to run into it, but I still think it shows quite a dedication to irrelevant details by Google Maps to add shadows to their graphics for buildings they have 3D shapes on depending on the time of the day.

Default view for SUB Göttingen:

Screenshot of the default image for SUB Göttingen in Google Maps

The same in the early afternoon:

Early afternoon screenshot of SUB Göttingen in Google Maps

… and in the late afternoon:

Early afternoon screenshot of SUB Göttingen in Google Maps

Of course this is more spectacular for higher buildings. E.g. the TV tower at Berlin Alexanderplatz in the early afternoon:

Early afternoon screenshot of Berlin Alexanderplatz in Google Maps

… and in the late afternoon:

Late afternoon screenshot of Berlin Alexanderplatz in Google Maps

I would have guessed that serving different images depending on the time of day forces the creation of so many additional tiles that it would not be economic. Perhaps I was wrong about the number of additional tiles needed as the shadows only appear at high zoom levels for buildings that have 3D data available. Or Google are just showing off their advertising cash…

October 22, 2013, 0:54

Tagged as google.

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