Rome in 3D

Google recently released a new layer in Google Earth that displays the Ancient Rome of Constantine in 3D. They partnered with the Rome Reborn project (through the University of Virginia) to bring models of thousands of buildings in Rome. Check it out here.

While this is great and all it’s frustrating that the suggested system requirements involve 3GB of RAM as well as a “high end” graphics card. None of which Google states on its webpage for the layer (see above link). Doesn’t it make more sense for a company that wants to expand the availability of knowledge to create it in such a way that it is actually more accessible? I’m running Google Earth right now on a Mac Pro with 5GB of RAM and a very high end graphics card and the layer is still lagging quite a lot and getting any of the imagery to look like the video is near impossible. Oh, well, maybe it will still be a few years before this is truly feasible.