October 23, 2006

Tagzania's Spanish Architecture on Google Earth


Venice Architecture Biennale

The Spanish Pavillion at the Venice Architecture Biennale commissioned Tagzania and its parent company, CodeSyntax, to develop several architectural models for Google Earth, and produce a set of videos using Google Earth flights.

The installation consists of 16 screens geographically organised: 16 simultaneous and synchronized 3-min videos are shown on those screens. 13 of the screens have a 3D architectural model on it, developed with Sketchup, and transplanted to the Google Earth scenario. Two more screens shown urban plans in 2D, as flat layers over Google Maps. One of the screens has no project to show, but the city of Palma de Mallorca needed to be there, so the panel with all screens made geographic sense, and therefore a series of pictures from the city Cathedral are visible in that particular flight. Several target cities in Spain where models had to be developed lacked hi-resolution imagery at Google Earth, so aditional ortophotographic layers were added to film the videos. These are the locations of the projects:


Flights show the buildings in close detail, and there are also some context changes in the videos, all screens go to Madrid, Barcelona and Venice, first from a distance and then zooming into great detail: in those close positions, Google Earth's pool of information layers and pinpoints is visible in the videos. All positions made sense with the screen arrangements in the panel...

About Tagzania: Tagzania is a site for bookmarking places in a map. It's interface is mainly flat, 2D views served by Google Maps thru their API. However, all points uploaded to Tagzania, and the collections of places organised by users or tags, have dinamic links to Google Earth. Anyway, developing 3D models didn't have much to do with our site's conception... Until now, at least.

The explosion of map mashups, geotagging, geography 2.0 we may say, has had a clear impact so far. Latitude and longitude are no longer terms exclusive to cartographers. They're in the hands of common net users.

Now, tools like Sketchup, Google Earth and the competitors of Google may have an impact in architecture, civil engineering and 3D design as well. Tools like Tagzania will not substitute professional cartography or architecture, but may make those realms accessible to myriads of users. There's space for all in Internet, and we all shall create, share and build our own spaces (geographic, architectural, urban spaces) on the web.

Posted by jo at October 23, 2006 05:49 PM