Aug 10 2010 By Jessica Thompson
One of Andy Dell's 3D graphics
A COMPUTER whiz from Hounslow is using his techno-talents to put Hounslow on the map.
Andy Dell, 21, of Mill Farm Crescent, has spent hours painstakingly creating 3D models of his favourite landmarks in Hounslow and Feltham to be used on one of the world's biggest mapping websites.
The creations have impressed Google so much they have been included in their Google Earth mapping application, giving people all over the world a multi-dimensional view of the area from their front room.
Mr Dell, who is studying digital media at Bournemouth University, said: "Some of them have taken more than 45 minutes each. It's good because people get a proper look at the buildings I have chosen. It feels like you are actually there."
More than 20 of his models have been selected for use on the Google site, including a replica of Feltham's The Centre sign, some of its shops and kiosks, and Belvedere Hous.
In Hounslow, the shops of Powder Mill Lane and the Duke of York Pub have been created among a host of other landmarks.
Mr Dell, who works at Argos in Feltham when he is back from university, creates the models by taking photographs of the buildings and combining this scale information with data available on Google Street View.
He has used a freely available programme called Google SketchUp to draw up the images.
They are then submitted to a panel at Google who decide whether or not they can feature on the site.
Mr Dell said: "I am excited for people in the local area to see them. I hope I can do digital modelling in my future career.
"Some of the areas I chose were because people I know live there, including family. It's really nice."
Laura Scott, a spokeswoman for Google, said: "It's great to see Andy taking his passion for his local area and turning it into 3D models that can now be viewed by people all over the world via Google Earth."