In Google Earth, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is not there. They've got the road going in and out of the canyon. This would be a blast to drive, but there really is a bridge there. They had to have purposely taken it out. Why?
Lat/long: 36.476176° -105.732763°

Edit: Same applies for:
Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City, Colorado.
Lat/long: 38.461088°-105.325118°

New River Gorge Bridge in Victor, WV
38.066808°, -81.082553°


1 Answer 1


The bridge is there both in the image but draped over google earth terrain and as a 3D structure. Turn on 3D building.

Note that Google does not allow users to upload their 3D models (previously possible to create and upload with SketchUp a tool now owned by Trimble). The existing 3D buildings and structures have not (YET) been removed, but now new user-built buildings are being added.

enter image description here

Google, i think, has some other plans for their own data-driven and automated 3D modelling instead; Google imagery, terrain and data resolution differ from a place to place. Some areas may have extremely high resolution imagery featuring 3D objects created from LiDAR or stereo imagery whereas other areas are still Landsat 7 15 m resolution.

Only some pleaces feature this new 3D Google Earth technology, Sudbury, ON, Canada is for some reason one of them, I think most urban areas in the US are the same but the rest of the world will have to wait:

enter image description here

  • Google has gotten pretty crafty at using lidar data (or other high resolution elevation data) to give the appearance of 3D modeled buildings in some areas. You can check to see what is the case in a particular area by checking/unchecking the "Terrain" box in layers and the "3D Buildings".
    – Kevin
    Feb 6, 2015 at 16:34
  • Apparently they also purchased SKybox Imaging. I wonder if owning such satellite and getting on demand high res images from various angles helps them to generate terrain from stereo. Feb 6, 2015 at 16:44
  • Excellent answer, and this explains the "road going in and out of the canyon" part of the question -- I thought it was just entering the canyon, then blank, then continuing on the other side!
    – Erica
    Feb 6, 2015 at 17:41
  • At least it looks better than what bing offers...
    – AndreJ
    Feb 7, 2015 at 11:21

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