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Google Earth has hooked up with the University of Virginia to produce a 3D rendition of Rome in the year 320AD featuring 250 "highly detailed" and 5000+ other buildings: According to the BBC, the new feature was unveiled at an event in the Italian capital, at which the current mayor Gianni Alemanno enthused: "It's an …

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Boffin

Awesome stuff

How long, I wonder, before Google Earth simply has a "year" slider? Click back a few centuries, and watch the development (and destruction) of cities in real time. All accompanied by a sidebar of tasteful text-only advertisements, asking if you'd like to book a time-travel vacation to the period you seem to be interested in. Just don't step on the butterfly.

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Arthur C Clarke ....

envisaged something akin to this in "The City and the Stars" ... there was a holgraphic display you could view (in the city's library IIRC) which you could step through time to view the city through the ages ...

That was set a billion years in the future

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Sadville

Is it just me, or is Google Earth rapidly becoming much better, interesting and most importantly USEFUL than Second Life?

I downloaded Second Life once because I hoped somebody had taken the time to convert historical building data, but all I saw was naff futuristic skyscrapers and flying penises.

If Google take the time to do this for other historical sites, it would be a truly wonderful educational resource. Ancient Egypt maybe? Various historical versions of London? This is made of WIN.

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Bronze badge

only the big stuff that lasts

This is good, but it doesn't give a real picture -- the crowded tenements, shops, stables, all of that. I knows it's impossible, and i wouldn't want anyone's conjecture, but I'd prefer a time machine. Surely Google Time is to follow, given that they're doing everything else?

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Ed
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Doesn't work here

I'd love to play with this, but it isn't working here. It loads two pieces of terrain and then stops... Oh well...

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@Hollerith

yes, but now we simply need a mechanism for populating the virtual landscape with avatars driven from the people actually visiting the landscape .... I'm sure google are working on it as we speak .....

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Joke

but can you make it into

an open source Grand Theft Equestrian.

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Re: a "year" slider?

If Google were to make it easy enough for local history societies (of which there are many, and quite a few rather good ones) to cobble together something, they may be surprised at just how much raw data we actually do have. Of course, in many cases the landscape (terrain and river courses) would have to change too. That would be part of the fascination.

Yes, a year slider would be a smashing idea. I'd play with it, and it could do wonders for kids' interest in history.

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@Ken Hagan

A year slider would be a REALLY smashing idea once you slid it past 350 or so around Rome... :)

As the t-shirt says: "If you're REALLY a Goth, where were you when we sacked Rome?"

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@AC 13:47

If you force avatars to look like period figures, that might be a good idea.

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Specs!

Ouch, counts most laptop users out from viewing this then!!

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