Googling Eau Claire: We've Gone 3D!

James Johonnott

Google has Salvador Dalízed Eau Claire!
Above: The Salvador Dalífication Eau Claire.

Google works in mysterious ways. Have you ever used Google Maps and thought it could be improved with the – sometimes creepy – ability to fly around the world and spy on anything? With Google Earth you can do just that. We here at Volume One spent a perhaps silly amount of time using Google Earth to look at our office from every conceivable angle, flying through the parking lot and trying to identify roughly drawn brown and red blobs.

Recently, Google added a feature that lets a user see their city in 3D, and a quick survey of Eau Claire will show you that nearly all of it is rendered in 3D. I took a look flew around other cities in Wisconsin and neighboring states and found that not all of them were drawn to the same detail as Eau Claire. This isn’t because The Great Google favors us – there's a far cooler reason. Ordinary people like you and me have been coding/drawing Eau Claire. Well maybe not quite like me. I’m not that good of a programmer.

With a set of tools provided by Google, home users of Google Earth are able to use satellite images of Eau Claire buildings to render our city in (admittedly  kinda wierd looking) 3D. This commitment to 3D-ing Eau Claire shows a lot of dedication from the people of our city and a pride in showing the world what we look like. Our thanks to those who have begun this work.

Big thanks to V1 contributor Luc Anthony for the heads up on this. He notes, "It looks like the buildings/imagery is based on an aerial from the summer of 2012, considering how you can see the old Davies Center just starting to be taken down and Sacred Heart just beginning to get its new exterior."

You can download Google Earth here. Once you've downloaded it you can type Eau Claire into the search bar and have fun exploring. Interested in contributing to Eau Claire’s Google Earth presence? You can learn more here.