Google just announced that Google Earth now features high-quality 3D-models of virtually all of the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Google’s hometown of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Oakland, Redwood City, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Sunnyvale. To see this expanded 3D coverage, you will need to turn on “3D Buildings” in Google Earth.
If you are using Google Earth 6.0 – the latest version currently available – you will also be able to see 3D trees in San Francisco.
Google already offers 3D buildings in other cities around its virtual globe in Google Earth, including New York. It is also worth noting that Microsoft’s Virtual Earth application was among the first to feature 3D buildings. Microsoft was able to generate these relatively quickly by using radar data to create its models while Google seems to be using a more manual hands-on approach.