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London Eye, Millennium Wheel Animation

4D London Eye in Google EarthAnimated SketchUp model of the London Eye observation wheel for Google Earth.  Using GE’s time animation feature to make the wheel rotate.

At 135m high this was for several years the largest wheel in the world.  (The Star of Nanking ,China holds the current record at 150m.)  One of the more distinctive features of the London Eye is that the support structure is attached to the ground on just one side, with the entire wheel suspended over the River Thames.

In real life, one revolution takes half an hour, meaning it turns slowly enough that it doesn’t need to stop to allow passengers on and off.   In this animation, at Google Earth’s slowest setting, the wheel revolves at about twice that speed.

London Eye Animation

To view the animation:

  • After the file loads look for the time slider control at the top of the screen
  • Access the time control options via the white clock face to the left of this
  • Set the repeat mode to ‘wrap’
  • Ensure that ‘clamp beginning of time window’ is off
  • Click OK
  • Hit the play button (the triangular right arrow)
  • If need be, the speed can be varied via the time control options
  • GE takes a little while to load in all the separate parts of the animation, resulting in flickering for a few cycles

The scene in Google Earth looked a little messy with the 3d model plonked on top of the massive aerial image of the London Eye,  so I’ve used a Photoshopped image overlay (included in the file) to clean this up.  This can be toggled off.

Below is a flythrough video of this animation, using the Space Navigator, put together by Frank Taylor at www.gearthblog.com

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  1. Oelke
    June 11th, 2007 at 22:06 | #1

    This is the biggest hit Í`ve ever seen-animation in google earth- Thanks guy

  2. November 9th, 2007 at 01:15 | #2

    I thought that your ferris wheel was really interesting. And I thought.. when you went to the golden gate bridge it would be cool, using time animation, to see the cars moving on the bridge.

  3. frank sharlock
    January 22nd, 2008 at 16:44 | #3

    Wonderful and dead easy to get working. WHAT’S NEXT??? Many thanks

  4. fuad jamal
    February 28th, 2008 at 08:18 | #4

    i like uk s country

  5. sheyla
    April 29th, 2008 at 11:27 | #5

    london, i’m comiiiing !!!!!

  6. July 20th, 2008 at 05:39 | #6

    what a woderful place!
    i love it
    i am form Afghinstan so i can,t come 2 the LONDON
    but it,s my idea that every one only 1 time visit the London

  7. August 8th, 2008 at 11:56 | #7

    your good city

  8. loderunner
    September 4th, 2009 at 07:33 | #8

    Great work!!! I need to make similar thing with wind turbina but I don’t know how to make it spin so I would appreciate any help.

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