“Bringing Google Earth to Virtual Reality”

  • ©Evan Parker and Matthias Bühlmann

  • ©Evan Parker and Matthias Bühlmann

  • ©Evan Parker and Matthias Bühlmann



Entry Number: 78


    Bringing Google Earth to Virtual Reality



    Since its inception, Google Earth has been brought to a variety of platforms: from desktop to mobile devices, from native to web. This talk discusses bringing Google Earth to virtual reality, a platform that poses unique challenges in user interaction and rendering. We present solutions to help users navigate planet-sized worlds in VR without losing context or becoming nauseous, and talk about techniques used to render such large worlds at the steady high frame rates that are required for VR.


    Kontkanen, J., and Parker, E. 2014. Earth in google maps: rendering trillions of triangles in javascript. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 Talks, ACM, 44.



    The above work was designed and implemented by John Ander- son, Matthias Buhlmann, Adam Glazier, Dominik Kaser, Per Karlsson, Aleksandr Palatnik, Evan Parker, John Rohlf, Matt Seegmiller, and Chun-Po Wang (in alphabetical order), based on prototyping by James Darpinian and years of lessons learned in the Google Earth project. The algorithms are intimately tied to the serving infrastructure built by the backend teams. In short, every triangle the client renders is the result of many teams working on data acquisition, computer vision, system architecture, and pipeline maintenance.


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