A few years ago, Google added a 3D model of ancient Rome to Google Earth. Today, Google is also adding thousands of new 3D buildings for modern Rome to its inventory of 3D models. Just like other cities that recently got a 3D makeover in Google Earth, the Rome model is surprisingly detailed and complete. Few cities, of course, can boast of as rich a history as Rome, so being able to look at both a model of the city as it looked in 320AD and today makes for a very interesting teaching tool.
You can find a web-based demo what the new set of buildings looks like here.
For the historic model, Google partners with the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia. There, a group of students and teachers developed the Rome Reborn model that forms the basis of Google’s version of ancient Rome.
To see the 3D version of modern Rome in Google Earth, use Google Maps with Earth view or turn on Google Earth’s “3D Buildings” layer and search for “Rome, Italy.” Users can, of course, also use Google Building Maker or Google SketchUp to add their own models or improve upon existing ones.