Sutrito Tower Now Available for Google Earth

Sutrito Tower, the microwave antenna array atop Bernal Hill, has been an icon of our neighborhood for generations. Now now you can add a digital model of it to Google Earth to make the virtual 3D map of Bernal Heights even more realistic.

For this we must give a nod to Joe Thomas, aka Jobius, the neighborhood gentleman who also gave the tower its quasi-official name. As Joe explains:

It’s possible to create models in Google Earth using photo textures with an “alpha channel,” so you can see through parts of the building.  That’s exactly what we want here, so I went out to take a few pictures on this beautiful blue-sky weekend. The blue made it easy to “chroma-key” out the background. I only had a good angle on the southwest-facing side of the tower, so I cloned that onto the other sides. I think this exaggerates the number of antennas, but I’m okay with that.

You can see the results above. Slick!

Want a digital model of Sutrito Tower of your very own so you can zoom about like a virtual red-tailed hawk over Bernal Hill and Cortland dale? Just download a copy of the .kmz file, fire up Google Earth, and away you go.

2 thoughts on “Sutrito Tower Now Available for Google Earth

  1. Hey, thanks for the plug! But just to clarify, since last weekend, you don’t even have to download the .kmz file. Google has accepted the model in its 3D Buildings layer, so you just turn on 3D Buildings and you’ll see the model.

    Oh, and make sure you turn on trees, too. They help hide the fact that GE’s terrain model is not so accurate near the top of the hill. In order to keep the south side of the attached flat building above ground, and still have the tower stand over it, I had to extend the tower downward quite a bit to meet the ground. (It’s not really six stories tall.)

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