This article was online, disappeared, but has now shown up again: Switzerland’s NZZ Online profiles CyberCity, the Zurich-based company behind the (impending) 3D version of Hamburg in Google Earth. Choice excerpts:
[Google] has already snapped up a three:dimensional model of Hamburg from the Swiss creators and has now asked them to supply more cityscapes with levels of detail currently unavailable on Google Earth. […]
“We are confident that we can have a productive relationship with Google in the coming years,” said [CyberCity managing director Franz] Steidler. “This is quite a breakthrough for us.”
The company already has a stockpile of some 50 cities mapped out in 3D detail in its database, including Paris, Salzburg, Florence, Los Angeles, Chicago and parts of Zurich.
“We will get a list from Google of what they want from us,” added Steidler.
What’s interesting is that the original initiative for putting CyberCity’s 3D Hamburg into Google Earth came from Hamburg’s local government and businesses, not Google; though now it seems that CyberCity’s other offerings have caught Google’s eye.
Clearly, the competition that is driving both Microsoft and Google to ever-greater lengths to impress users is unequivocally a Good Thing ™ for us:-)