Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

L.A. Looks So Real In Google Earth's 3-D It's Scary

Support your source for local news!
The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

We share a precarious relationship with Google Earth. While it allows us check out all corners of the world, it also raises some questions about privacy. The debate, it seems, is not going to die down anytime soon, as we've discovered some fantastic, highly-detailed images of L.A. through Google Earth's 3-D feature. Look closely and you might see yourself!

Redditor RealityIsMyReligion helped bring our attention to the new, slick 3-D shots of the L.A. area. He posted a series of pictures that feature some iconic landmarks, including Dodger Stadium and the Hollywood sign. He said on Reddit that he was using Google Earth Pro with "graphics turned all the way up, rendered at max resolution," so his images are maybe a little more pristine than the ones we got. For the rest of us (i.e. people using an outmoded laptop) the 3-D images may look like The Sims at times. Still, the fidelity is still there, and it makes for some startling images.

According to Google Earth Blog, the folks at Google have been adding more 3-D coverage at a "fairly consistent rate for the last two to three years." Though it also seems that, instead of expanding to new areas, Google Earth has been updating/upgrading 3-D imagery in areas that have already been covered. It seems like L.A. has been a benefactor in this move.

Google Earth's fidelity has been so highly regarded that some armchair archaeologists have used it as a magnifying glass. Earlier this month a 15-year-old Canadian claimed to have discovered a Mayan ruin using Google Earth (actually, it's probably an ancient corn field). In 2014, Courtney Love claimed she had found Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

Most Read