Papervision3D is a 3D graphics engine for Flash. It allows you to create 3D objects and environments and manipulate them in real-time in Flash. You can easily create complex 3D objects and environments in your favourite 3D authoring software and export them as COLLADA files, or download 3rd party COLLADA files for Flash to use.

The example below is a 3D interactive globe. It’s simply a bitmap image of the earth wrapped around a sphere, so don’t expect Google Earth! Feel free to play with it and leave any comments. Please note that the image file may take a few seconds to download, depending on your internet connection.

[swfobj src=’’ title=’Papervision3D interactive globe’ width=’600′ height=’400′]

The data used to construct this model are here:

COLLADA (XML) file: earth.dae

Bitmap images: earth.jpg

Google Maps API

I’ve been playing around with Google Maps API for Flash. I’ve maintained all the usual controls that we expect from Google maps and I’ve added a search bar which accesses Google’s Geocode web service to convert addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates and then find those locations on the map.

Of course, it would be relatively easy to add a list of addresses either from an external XML data file or by accessing a custom database, so that users can quickly and easily find specific addresses without having to search for them themselves.

One advantage of Flash over regular web pages is that we can use full screen mode, whereby Flash Player takes over the entire user’s screen. Ideal for map-reading. Click on the “Full Screen Off” button on the bottom right to enter/exit full screen mode. Please note that in full screen mode, Flash Player disables the majority of keyboard input.  You can also exit full screen mode by pressing the escape key.

[swfobj src="" width="500" height="400" required_player_version="9.0.0" allowfullscreen="true"]