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Friday, September 14, 2007

Tampa Landmarks Go 3-D on Google Earth
By Beau Zimmer

Local photographer Wayne Cathel is snapping away with his camera, taking hundreds of digital photographs for a new high tech project that will put some of the Tampa Bay Area’s most famous land marks on the map in cyberspace.

A company called Concept3D is teaming with Google Earth and hired Cathel to photograph several local structures. The popular interactive mapping software has been available on-line for years, but up until now, images captured by satellites from space, have always been one dimensional flat views of the tops of buildings. Cathel’s photos will change that, making landmarks like Wrigley Field in Chicago or the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa viewable in 3-D from all angles.

“You have to walk around the perimeter twice,” says Cathel who photographed the Forum and Tampa Conventional Center earlier in the week and plans to shoot Raymond James Stadium Saturday.

Cathel hopes Google contracts with him to shoot more buildings around the Bay Area. His next 3-D masterpiece may be a freshly painted Skyway Bridge. “The Skyway Bridge would be neat to have in 3-D. You could fly under and it around it.”

In the end the new technology could be used by real estate agents to help sell homes, or for families trying to pick out the perfect vacation spot overseas. For Cathel it’s an honor to be apart of the project. His photos could be on-line by as soon as the end of the month.

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