The most recent version of Google Earth has added a nifty new 3D Trees feature!
Previous versions of the application included some trees, but only for select cities. This recent release, by comparison, contains over 80,000,000 trees, spanning 50 species, in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Athens, Tokyo and Berlin. In addition to urban trees, endangered forests in parts of Africa and Mexico are also available.
The addition of trees to Google Earth is a sign of the growing appreciation for the role that trees play in the environment, developed and otherwise. Unintentionally, viewing Google Earth without 3D trees enabled (or in places where it’s not yet available) makes the absence of trees feel very sharp indeed.
Personally, I hope that tools like this pressure designers and municipalities to seek design solutions that truly deliver on the trees so often represented in project renderings — fictional trees that are almost always much larger, lusher and happier than your average urban specimen.
In order to view 3D Trees, enable the 3D buildings layer on the lefthand side of the Google Earth window.
And in the Follies this week, I made this excellent butternut squash pizza recipe last month. I love butternut squash, and the puree that is used on the pizza her can easily be repurposed if you have extra (and you probably will — squash are always gigantic). Ever lazy, I did not make a crust, instead opting for a pre-made Vicolo’s.