3D Interiors now on Google Earth!

Whoever thought that Google Earth could only be used to browse the world is now mistaken. Peekspy is focused on creatively using Google Earth's technology to display interiors of buildings. We, at Peekspy, have come up with a "complete Google platform" that allows you to virtually navigate through a building just as if you were physically there.

Let us walk you through our platform.

Brief


Click to enlarge

The NUS Library 3D Map is a virtual reality model of National University of Singapore Libraries. It allows users to navigate around in a 3D environment and familiarize themselves with facilities available inside the library. Peekspy improves on the effectiveness of 2D maps by allowing its users to navigate through the actual space while providing useful information. The model is realistically scaled using true building dimensions and physical location. It is accessible over the internet from the university's website, giving all local and international students, staff and visitors the opportunity to explore the campus library and their facilities off-site.

Platform & Features

Our product features a few innovative uses of the Google Earth Plugin and the Google AppEngine, plus an integration with other Google Apps such as Google SketchUp and Google Earth.

The AppEngine is the platform that handles and controls the data within this 3D app. The library staff are given a secured administrative user interface to allow them to create their own placemarks (or landmarks) within the 3D library. Through the Google Earth API, we've made the landmarks' content editable. Displayed in a balloon linked to the landmark, the content can contain both formatted text, pictures or YouTube videos. Additionally, customized orientation tours of the library can be created on the fly.

Click to enlarge: Some screenshots of librarians administration website via Google Accounts

Google SketchUp 3D software tool was used as the drawing platform to create the model from scratch. Combined with the power of Google Earth with satellite imagery, maps and terrain, we were able to place our model using real-world coordinates.

The Google Earth Plugin then displays the model of the NUS library on an globe that is covered with a black layer. This is to make the interior model stand out more and avoid distracting the user with unnecessary features. The navigation on the right is automatically generated based on the landmarks created by the user. Last but not least, a great feature of this application is the 3D book search capability. The Google AppEngine database stores a catalogue of book call numbers as well as their shelf reference. When the viewer enters a call number in the search box, the latitude, longitude and camera viewing anlge of the appropriate shelf is retrieved and located in 3D.

Google technologies integration

Image1: Google Sketchup is used to model the interior of the library. We used the actual textures after visiting the library and taking necessary pictures.
Image2: Google Earth is used to geo-locate the library and get the actual dimensions.
Image3: Google App Engine is then used as server to host the models. All data for camera positions, levels and shelves are entered through Google App Engine.
Image4: Google Accounts is used to allow the library staff to securely log in, update and manage all information that appears within the 3D models. The staff can instanly upload images, videos and text.
Image5: Google Earth Plugin API is used to allow users to interact with our 3D model.
Image6: Google analytics is used to collect monthly statitics about our site.


Click to enlarge: Google Apps used by Peekspy for our product development.

Video


This video was created by someone who featured our product on his blog.

The NUS 3D Library featured