It’s been years since Google Earth updated its 3D imagery for downtown Austin. If you’re a frequent user, you probably realized the data was a little old when you checked out the Seaholm District — it’s looked like this for as long as I can remember:
As you can see, the actual satellite images receive frequent updates, but the 3D imagery, the updating of which is a more detailed process, doesn’t — creating an odd mix of old and new.
Fresher buildings in town like the Fairmont Austin, the JW Marriott, and every new tower around the Seaholm redevelopment and 2nd Street District like Northshore Austin and 500 West 2nd Street weren’t visible in 3D, making your flights through this growing section of downtown a little lonely. That’s clearly no longer the case:
As you can deduce from the stage of construction on some of the projects seen here, this new 3D imagery was captured probably about eight months ago or thereabouts. That’s still a lot better than the previous material, which appears to be from nearly four years ago.
If you’re using the desktop version of Google Earth, you may need to update the program before this new imagery shows up, but you can see it all now in the browser-based version. I highly recommend spending a few minutes flying around and seeing what’s new. Speaking of flying, have you tried flight simulator mode?