Hey Google Earth: Update Philadelphia, would ya?

Who doesn’t love Google Earth? Who’d have ever thought that we would one day live in a world when we could fly over a 3D representation of our beloved Philadelphia? The problem is, the 3D view of Philadelphia in Google Earth is in dire need of an update. The aerial photo is not exactly new (most of it was done on April 10, 2010), but the 3D buildings are stuck in 2008-2009. Here’s some examples:

Right here you can see that Google Earth is still showing the buildings that were demolished a few years ago in anticipation of the now completed convention center expansion. A flat aerial view of the new building lies underneath. Let’s get an update!

In this image, you can see how Google Earth assumes the continued existence of the Youth Study Center, but shows the Barnes construction underneath. Since the Barnes isn’t done yet, we can probably let this one slide. Once it’s completed, however, give us a 3D Barnes!

The Radian in University City has been complete for years now, but in Google Earth, all we see is a short, flat, gray building representing the long-gone Cinemagic and the low-rise stores that surrounded it. Update, please!

Then there are buildings that never had a 3D version in the first place. Here you can see how the Holiday Inn Midtown gets no representation. It should appear in the flat spot, right in the middle of the picture. C’mon!

The Temple Hospital Complex has never been 3D on Google Earth. What would Bill Cosby say? Update it!

Here’s a situation where the aerial photo is WAY out of date. The South Street Bridge is under construction and Penn Park is a pile of dirt. In the upper right, you can see a 3D version of the Post Office Annex, long demolished and replaced. Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?

You may be wondering why we’re complaining about these small imperfections in an otherwise extremely useful and free tool. Honestly, we’re just trying to help.

For example, on Philaphilia, I once wrote a post about the ugly Hilton Garden Inn near the convention center, and noted that the hotel wasn’t rendered in 3D. Not two weeks later, I was Google Earthing and noticed, huzzah, they rendered it! Did they see the article or was it just a huge coincidence?

Does it matter?

Just update it!!!!!

–GroJLart, philaphilia.blogspot.com