Model China: 3D maps and more

Culture | by China Travel
Posted: February 2nd, 2010 | Updated: May 5th, 2011 | Comments
We've already looked at exploring China by satellite, but if Avatar has taught us anything, it's that two dimensions just don't cut it any more. Even George Lucas wants in on the 3D phenomenon.
So, without further ado, here are three ways you can enjoy China in all its three-dimensional glory.
  1. First up, the fantastic Edushi, which renders a host of cities (including Hong Kong, pictured below and viewable here) in incredible detail. Sure, the streets look suspiciously clean, and there's more green space than you''ll find on the ground, but this is an unbeatably addictive way to explore the city of your choosing.
  2. Google's SketchUp allows users to create their own 3D models. Here's what people have come up with so far for Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, and the awe-inspiring scale model of the city on the top floor.
  3. Speaking of Shanghai, there's talk that as many as one fifth of the hundred-odd pavilions won't be ready in time for the 2010 World Expo, which starts in just 3 months time. Happily, they're all complete on the official interactive 3D model of the site.
Then again, perhaps this all comes too late. Nowadays it seems you have to go 4D if you want to draw a crowd... Quick tech tip: For sites like Edushi, which is only available in Chinese, consider installing the Google Translate toolbar, which can translate entire webpages, with increasing accuracy, in just one-click.
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