OAKLAND, Calif.–Google on Friday introduced an interactive view of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Bay Bridge to users of its Google Earth mapping software.
The new view (zipped file), which can be seen by all Google Earth users who have 3D buildings turned on, Google Earth users can see the bridge from any angle, including "driving" across the not-yet constructed, side-by-side decks of the new eastern span, or climbing the bridge’s new 525-foot tower.
Google and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) held a joint press conference on Friday to discuss the partnership. Google Earth co-founder and chief technology advocate Michael Jones described the new layer as exciting and important.
Users can now use the application to monitor the ongoing construction of the Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS), the most iconic element of the seismically retrofitted Bay Bridge. Sections of the SAS will appear in Google Earth soon after they are lifted into place out on the Bay. Deck and tower sections that are being lifted will appear green on Google Earth, and will turn solid after they are in place; the remainder of the under-construction bridge is transparent.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to take information about the SAS to a while new level,” said Bay Bridge Public Information Officer Bart Ney. “Google Earth offers such a rich interactive environment that allows people to experience the bridge in a while new way.”
Press Release: Bay Bridge Uses Google Earth To Reveal Iconic Construction Process (PDF)
The Bay Bridge is the first construction project to be on Google Earth.
STEP 1: Download the free Google Earth application.
STEP 2: Visit the Bay Bridge on Google Earth.
Be sure to have the "3D Buildings" layer checked