Two months of preparation and experiments along with 600 hours of work on location has resulted in the world’s largest model railway exhibition. Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany is an interesting Street View attempt by the teams of Google and Ubilabs. This is not your usual model railway exhibit. We are talking about 13,000 kilometers of track with almost a thousand trains. The model has 335,000 lights and over 200,000 figurines spread across the sprawling 14,000 square feet layout. A number of tiny cars cover the area in addition to the trains.
Street View has a team of innovative brains, and we have seen that in their attempts before. Google has taken Street View to quite a few exotic places before but their attempt to bring Street View to Miniatur Wunderland is plausible. It has become Hamburg’s most visited tourist attraction in the short span of time that it has been there.
Google teamed with Ubilabs to create mini versions of their Street View cameras. These tiny cameras were planted in cars, trains and buses in the exhibit so that viewers enjoy a closer look and the street-like view. Attention to every detail makes the Miniatur Wunderland the best model railway exhibit.
Miniature versions of some popular destinations like the Swiss Alps, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas as well as Mount Rushmore along with a fully functional model of Hamburg airport which includes airplanes taking off makes the entire thing awe-inspiring. There are plans of adding more sites like England, Italy, Africa and France to the Miniatur Wunderland. The beauty of the creation could only leave us asking for more.
With cameras so small, Google has the opportunity to explore more opportunities of using these cameras effectively. The concept also inspires us to think that it may be useful for creating virtual reality applications.