Cube Cities Blog

The Cube Cities Blog

27 March 2013

City-Wide Stacking Plans with Markers & Meters

Floor Access to Buildings Downtown San Francisco using Markers & Meters
The Cube Cities API now provides access to Markers & Meters. These new controls provide floor-level information to every building in all of our cities. Each floor marker (seen multicoloured in image above) and energy meter (indicated in orange) is colourized to indicate any user-selected building variable. Perfect for visualizing energy or water consumption on a floor level. But the best thing about Markers & Meters is they are designed to work with Google's new 3D imagery, making them perfect for Google Earth on iPad or Android. Here's a video showing off how buildings downtown San Francisco come alive and accessible with Markers & Meters.

See fullscreen, in high resolution

Additionally, Markers & Meters work in Google's Street View:

See fullscreen, in high resolution

To learn more about the Cube Cities API and how to get access to Markers & Meters, sign up with us and we'll send you the details.

22 March 2013

Celebrity Real Estate Views in Manhattan

East 59th Street and Park Avenue
Ivanka Trump lives high above Park Avenue, her penthouse has sweeping, panoramic views of the Upper East Side. Denzel Washington and Sting both live in the same building off Broadway and West 61st Street. Denzel lives on the 24th floor and has a dramatic view of Central Park South. Sting lives thirteen floors below on number eleven, but has another apartment building blocking most of his Central Park view. The video tour below shows off the floor locations and window views from a selection of celebrity real estate, including Jay-Z's Tribeca penthouse, Jim Carrey's property in Chelsea and Madonna's Upper East Side mansion.

Fullscreen, high resolution link

The Cube Cities Grids tool makes all of this possible. It's a simple way to select any floor or window in any building and share that information with direct links.

Jay-Z lives above Hudson Street, he can see the construction of One World Trade Center from his rooftop.

18 March 2013

Comparing Google and Apple's 3D Building Products

Google and Apple have both invested heavily in 3D mapping technologies in recent quarters. Google has developed a capability/airforce to capture imagery of cities using 45 degree aerial imagery processing in a process called stereo photogrammetry. Since June of 2012, Google has been releasing new 3D city imagery using this technique. In 2011, Apple acquired Swedish mapping company C3 Technologies for an estimated $240 million, bringing that companies SAAB-developed 3D mapping technology in house, resulting in the release of nearly 100 3D cities on Apple Maps. Also in 2012, Google sold their architectural software product SketchUp to Trimble Navigation, taking with it the 3D Warehouse, which has been the historical source of 3D buildings for Google Earth.

The table below details many of the differences between the competing 3D imagery products that are now available to the mass market on Google and Apple platforms.

Click to Expand

The screenshots below illustrate San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid in the competing 3D building layer products currently available to the mass market on Google and Apple platforms. Note how the entire urban fabric is rendered in the computer generated maps, whereas Google's legacy building layer has missing buildings and contains stylistically different models due to it's human-crafted origin.

Google's Legacy Building Layer (Human Created)

Google's New 3D Imagery (Computer Generated)

Apple's Maps (Computer Generated)
Both Google's old and new 3D buildings are compatible with Cube Cities products. However, Apple currently does not provide a method of loading data into their mapping application, with the exception of the built-in third party data feeds from Tom Tom and Yelp.

Interested in seeing what these 3D building models look like on the inside? The following images show the interior space of the top floors of the Transamerica Pyramid building, all oriented from the same direction. Click the image to expand.

Trimble's 3D Warehouse (Legacy)
Apple's 3D Buildings
Google's New 3D Imagery

15 March 2013

Metering Building Class: Boston After Dark

Building Meters downtown Boston in Google Earth
Buildings continue to operate and consume energy after the work day ends and facilities become idle. With Building Meters, Cube Cities provides a unique visual meter indicating the building type and class, energy usage and any other available metric. See the video below to see what Cube Cities can do in Boston using Building Meters and Google's new 3D imagery.

Fullscreen, high resolution link

Imagine real time building data available in this format for every major city in the world. It's the dawn of a new era and Cube Cities is there.

Sunrise over Boston Harbor
Contact us to experience the full interactive product. Options for private implementations of Building Meters are available.

13 March 2013

"Building Meters" for Google's New 3D City Imagery

Google Earth's new 3D imagery now seen on iPad or Android tablets for cities like Boston, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco has been indexed by Cube Cities for real estate mapping. Because our database knows the floor height of every building we can quickly stack up a row of icons beside every building to function as building interface controls. We'll call these Building Meters. Here's how they look:

Google Earth 7 on OSX - San Francisco's Financial District

San Francisco's Market Street

Google Earth on iPad - Downtown Seattle
These "building meters" are handy new control elements that work well on desktop or mobile versions of Google Earth and instantly add floor-level interactivity to Google's new auto-generated city models. These new city models give a sense of completeness and communicate the urban landscape more effectively than Google's older 3D Building Layer that was part of Google's 3D Warehouse. Every few months Google is rolling out this new 3D imagery for cities around the world. Combined with the Cube Cities platform, the resulting product is a superior way to illustrate building operating costs, rental rates, occupancy data and more. Here's a video showing building meters:

Fullscreen, high resolution

The video above also shows company logos of real estate firms advertising available office space listings at the exact locations indicated by the icons. That's another one of our tricks that makes an iPad or Android tablet a great new way to find office space and pull up floorplans. Contact us to learn more about office market or building data on mobile devices in 3D.