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3D Swindon & Wilts from Space
A virtual tour of 3D Swindon and a few of Wiltshire's hidden spots and landmarks snapped from space...
It was back in May that Swindon entered the third dimension, virtually speaking, when it joined the ranks of Brighton to become the first place in the UK to get the 3D treatment.
For the last few years it's been easy enough to zap around online virtual worlds and enjoy a bit of a satellite view of the country. But up until now it's been a world, in the UK at least, that's been as flat as a pancake.
But, at the beginning of the year, all of that changed when Virtual Earth 3-D went online and the first places in the UK to bag a spot on the 3D map were interestingly enough Swindon and Brighton.
Swindon first to go 3D
Since then, if you've had the time or the broadband connection fast enough, you could experience Swindon from… well pretty much any angle you fancy.
Logging on to maps.live.com you're not only given wings to swoop down into Swindon, fly over the Brunel Tower and soar over The Oasis Leisure Centre but even to have a bit of a virtual fly-by along one of Swindon's streets.
You could also drop in on Old Town if it took your fancy.
Despite slowing your computer down to pre-broadband speed, it is all-in-all an incredibly impressive and realistic looking 'Virtual Swindon'. Which makes sense when you realise that it's a 3D Swindon that's not only been generated by hi-res images snapped from the air of every single building from every single angle but has been modelled by hand for the especially fiddley buildings.
And the result, if your computer is up to it, is a flyby that could easily be mistaken for video footage taken from a helicopter.
Walking 3D Swindon's Streets
With 5,000 cities around the World, due to be 3D mapped within the next five years, the next step for Swindon is a 3D street-level map which you'll be able to walk down from your own computer keyboard. And if you pass a shop that takes your interest, why pass it?, especially when you'll be able to pop in and do a spot of shopping…
With all this arm chair shopping… fingers crossed there'll be a few virtual gyms on offer.
last updated: 23/10/07
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