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Online Mapping Meets SimCity

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edushi.com is an interactive Chinese site that displays maps of various Chinese cities. The interface is much like the interface found on Google Local with a zoom toolbar in the upper right and a drag and pan functionality. Nothing unusual there. What makes this site interesting is how the maps look. Instead of a standard map or satellite image, an oblique representation of the street layout, along with 3 (technically 2.5) dimensional looking buildings, is provided, lending the site a rather SimCity-like feel.

Not being able to read any Chinese makes navigating the site a little difficult, even with the aid of online translation services. according to Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes, the site employs the following data:
  • buildings/landmarks: footprints, heights, idealized appearance, photographs
  • street map data (including 3D data for overpasses)
  • street addresses
  • a business database
  • land cover (parks, water, sidewalks, etc.)
  • smoothed terrain
  • bus stops
  • construction data (cranes are seen around some buildings under construction)
Only a small number of Chinese cities are included but what exists is impressive, clean and attractive. Expect more of this sort of internet mapping to come.

By way of Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes

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