Vancouver Buildings in Google Earth 3D

Comments 23 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last March Google launched its cities in 3D program and as of this month, Vancouver is on now the list.


If your local government is like many around the world, you’ve invested in developing a 3D model representing buildings in your city’s downtown–perhaps your entire jurisdiction. Or, maybe you haven’t yet produced a 3D model, but you’ve collected the geospatial data necessary for producing a model. With Google’s Cities in 3D Program, your local government, community group, or educational institution can share this 3D data with the public by adding a model of your city or community to Google Earth. [Google Cities in 3D]

Mock ups and colourful 3D representations have been added before through Google’s Sketchup or the 3D Warehouse but life-like designs of over 1,400 Vancouver buildings are now officially available through Google Earth.

This got me thinking about our city’s architecture; from brick and stone to teal and glass, fires, fairs and economies have shaped the landscape. So, which exactly is your favourite building downtown?

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23 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Keira-AnneWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 10:23am PST

    Good question. Not sure that I have a favourite building that stands out, but I’m fond of the little white clouds above some office tower on Howe Street across from the courthouse. It’s neat-o!

  2. Miss604Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 10:29am PST

    I like the Marine Building, especially now that I can go in there and chill at Elephant and Castle (they have free wifi).

  3. MehnazWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 10:49am PST

    My fave would have to be the Dominion Building. I love its spiral staircase and architecture. And I love St Andrew’s-Wesley Church on Burrard and Nelson. It reminds me of the churches of England 🙂

  4. ScottWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 11:00am PST

    The Marine building, just because of it’s architecture, it’s beautiful.

  5. KristenWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 11:14am PST

    It is not quite downtown, but I am in love with Pacific Central…the old train station at Main and Terminal. I also have a great love of the condo tower along English Bay that has the big tree at the top.

  6. TylerWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 11:34am PST

    My favorite building is the one I live in 🙂 Why? because I live there! As for which one is my favorite based on architecture.. well that’s umm not sure.. many buildings I like all based on different styles.

  7. TylerWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 11:37am PST

    Looking at the 3d model of Vancouver on my machine here at work with Google earth and I like how my apartment building is rendered in 3d!

  8. Urban DwellerWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 11:47am PST

    I’d have to say the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Its got that old world elegance and charm. They just don’t build hotels like they used to with grand lobbies.

    As for new stuff in the past 10 or 15 years, I’d have to say the Vancouver Public Library just because for once we dared to do something out of the norm in Vancouver.

  9. RebeccaWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 12:43pm PST

    I work in the Marine Building – it’s definitely one of my favourites! Every nook and cranny of the lobby is filled with Art Deco goodness.

  10. SamWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 1:29pm PST

    There’s a pretty good visual map of Vancouver that displays things like streets, building names, and 3D animations of downtown communities here:

  11. TylerWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 2:09pm PST

    @Kristin that Oak Tree at the top of the building is called the “Tree of Life” the front of the building is a Hypodermic Needle – From what I’ve heard is that the Architect was a Heroin addict. The tree is at the plunger, and then it tapers off into the point at the base where the front door is.

    Come to think of it I think that is my favorite building. I love seeing the tree in various seasons at the top of it. I’ve always wanted to live up there with the tree!

  12. fotoeinsWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 3:03pm PST

    As a wae lad in Chinatown from the `70s, my two buildings (in for a tie, out for a pound) are: The Sun Tower, and The Marine Building.

  13. kpackaWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 3:18pm PST

    Look out! There’s a hump in front of the Science World! Alert the media! 🙂

  14. Chris MathiesonWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 4:35pm PST

    I’m always amused by the Sam Kee building every time I pass it. (The “Thinnest Commercial Building in the World” according to Guinness… it’s now Jack Show Insurance.)

    The Marine Building, Sun Tower and the Dominion Building are all great pieces of old Vancouver architecture.

    We’ve got lots of great buildings, it just sucks that we have to work so ahrd to keep them from getting demolished in the name of progress.

  15. anita websterWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 4:35pm PST

    For your least fave list, that monstrosity that looks like a tuna can at NW corner of Hastings and Seymour – used to be pricewatershouecoopers – maybe still is. Ugh!

  16. TawcanWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 4:39pm PST

    I’m with Urban Dweller, I like the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. In terms of one I can’t stand to look at? Hmmm that’s tough, maybe Shangri La?

  17. Miss604Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 4:43pm PST

    I personally don’t like Sears and its big white walls of nothingness.

  18. Derek AndrewsWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 4:54pm PST

    The Cube and the Hotel Europe.

    On the downside……yaletown…. anything there that was built after 1970.

  19. WillWednesday, January 28th, 2009 — 11:48pm PST

    Aside from the history filled landmarks mentioned the best examples of modern Vancouver Teal Glass have got to be found along the North side of West Cordova. Harbour Green I, II, Shaw Tower, and my favourite the Carina towers with their bowed glass like sails. Doesn’t translate so well into Google Earth, yet… but pretty amazing all the buildings built. Any way to embed Google Earth into wordpress?

  20. Ocean in Google Earth Features BC Waters » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittMonday, February 2nd, 2009 — 10:24am PST

    […] week I got the heads up on the addition of downtown Vancouver buildings to Google Earth 3D but now they’ve taken to the water for Ocean in Google. The feature is included in the newest […]

  21. Vancouver Heritage Buildings – The Mansions » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittThursday, May 7th, 2009 — 10:10am PDT

    […] Google launched Cities in 3D I asked readers what their favourite buildings were in Vancouver. Answers included the Marine […]

  22. medikal malzemeSaturday, August 8th, 2009 — 6:27am PDT

    great article thank you.

  23. PhanyxxFriday, July 16th, 2010 — 6:03pm PDT

    Shangri_La and the new Convention Centre are my favourites. A perfect example of the future of Vancouver’s urban landscape…

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