Tuesday, January 09, 2007
That’s right, Google is looking for the hottest models on the planet. They can come from any city in the world, and they can be any height, but they must be interesting to look at, well-made and lightweight.
Of course, by "lightweight" we mean that the file size should be reasonably small.
If you’re confused, you may not have heard about the recent updates of Google Earth, Google SketchUp, and the 3D Warehouse. With these launches, all the pieces are now in place for contributors to the 3D Warehouse to see their creations show up in Google Earth for all the world to see.
Here’s how it works:
1. Download Google SketchUp. Create a 3D model of something in your neighborhood, city or state -- your house, your business, your favorite restaurant, or the statue of Buckminster Fuller in the center of town. Be sure to geo-locate your model in Google Earth.
2. Upload your model to the 3D Warehouse. Don’t forget to put your name on it (if it shows up in Google Earth, you’ll want the credit).
3. Download the most recent version of Google Earth (a necessary step, as older versions don’t support super models). Launch Google Earth, go to the 3D Buildings folder under the Layers tab in the lefthand sidebar, and activate the “Best of 3D Warehouse.” Then fly to the location of the model you submitted. It might be there!
If you don’t find it, keep checking -- sometimes it takes several weeks for models to appear in Google Earth. In the meantime, visit “Best of 3D Warehouse” to see some that have made the cut. (Here are the guidelines for building "super" models.) Fly to Denver CO, Boulder CO, New York, NY and Calgary, Canada to start. Then investigate other cities to see if they contain 3D buildings yet.
In short, 3D modelers, Google Earth is your palette; Google SketchUp is your brush. Show the world what you've got!
Update: Added a short list of cities already featuring "best of" models.