Theme memo blog. News, discussion and information about the National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Google Earth Offers Special Preview of 9/11 Memorial

For the first time, people everywhere can take an incredible virtual tour of the 9/11 Memorial, complete with the towering skyscrapers planned for the 16-acre World Trade Center site in the lower Manhattan skyline.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Google Inc. proudly introduce  a 3D model that demonstrates  how the 9/11 Memorial will appear once it’s completed.

The 3D model of the memorial park can be explored in Google Earth on the 9/11 Memorial web site.  The integration of the Google Earth plugin by the 9/11 Memorial organization provides a new and easy way for people anywhere in the World to explore the memorial virtually. The dimensionally accurate 3D model replicates key components of the memorial that include the signature memorial pools, the arrowhead-shaped museum pavilion, the plaza and hundreds of swamp white oak and sweetgum trees. It plots the memorial in the actual location in which it’s being constructed and shows where it will sit in relation to other buildings and structures in lower Manhattan.

Google Earth enables visitors to pan over the tree-filled plaza, flying through a canopy that will shade an eight-acre public park space. They can peek through windows of the museum pavilion and see two seven-story-steel "tridents" that will greet future visitors entering the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Information about the memorial park, including videos and photographs can be obtained by clicking on one of several informational placemarks.'s Julie Shapiro reports,  "Google donated the time and materials to build the virtual tour, which combines Google Earth technology with models of the memorial and rebuilt Trade Center site, so the billions of people who won’t be able to visit the memorial can still get a chance to see it, said Bruce Polderman, a Google product manager."

The 3D model provides a sense of scale for the two signature memorial pools - each about an acre in size - that will feature 30-foot waterfalls flowing within the original footprints of the fallen twin towers.  Visitors can now zoom-in to the memorial plaza and note the intricate detail of each cobblestone, or, zoom-out and hover over the entire site for a view of the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center.

The 9/11 Memorial opens next year, but now you can experience it today through Google Earth.