CMHR construction complete as Google Earth 3D model

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The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) has sprung to life on Google Earth as one of the few 3D models of Canadian buildings ever constructed by Google's own 3D Warehouse team.

The model was uploaded to Google Earth last weekend, allowing viewers to toggle between views of the Museum under construction (via photos taken in 2011) and the completed model. The CMHR joins only a handful of Canadian buildings modelled by 3D Warehouse, including Toronto's Rogers Centre and buildings used for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"We are very excited to see this architecturally stunning building take a place of prominence on the virtual Earth," said CMHR president and CEO Stuart Murray. "We hope everyone who visits the Museum online will be motivated to come see the real thing when it opens in Winnipeg next year."

The model was one of the most challenging ever built by Google project managers, who struggled with architect Antoine Predock's complex geometry, textures and colours of Tyndall stone, concrete and massive expanses of glass. Because the model was built using the architects' Computer Assisted Design models, it is extremely accurate and can provide viewers with detailed views of the architecture – particularly useful for those who cannot see it in person. 

Most other 3D models on Google Earth are uploaded by individual users, usually without the ability to incorporate colour and texture. Unlike Google Maps, Google Earth is an actual 3D environment, so a user can navigate around objects and see buildings and landmarks from all sides and all levels of zoom, skyview and ground level.

CMHR's Director of Design, New Media and Collections, Corey Timpson, approached Google with the idea in 2010, when he heard about New York's September 11th Memorial Museum being constructed on Google Earth before it was built in real life. He hoped the CMHR's role in raising awareness of human rights would entice the Google team to give the Canadian building special consideration as well.

To view the model, simply enter "Canadian Museum for Human Rights" in the search field on Google Earth, which can be downloaded for free from the Internet.

Currently under construction in Winnipeg, the CMHR is the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights in Canada. It is the first national museum to be established since 1967 and the first outside the National Capital Region.

For more information, please contact:

Maureen Fitzhenry
Manager, Media Relations
Canadian Museum for Human Rights

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Media contacts

Maureen Fitzhenry

Aaron Brindle