Google SketchUp (beta) – the free 3D Modeling tool for Google Earth – was just released yesterday. As part of that release, Google created the 3D Warehouse which allows you to upload your 3D models to share with others, or allows you to download models or components to make your models better. Another important part of the 3D Warehouse is the 3D Warehouse Network Link . The network link lets you find the models which have been placed onto Google Earth, the placemark descriptions give you a screenshot and details about the model, and give you the choice to download and look at it in Google Earth. You have to pause a couple of seconds for the network link to search and find out if there are models in your current view.
Let’s see what it takes…
Let’s see what it takes to place a SketchUp model into the 3D Warehouse. Right now the 3D Warehouse has only a few 3D models placed in Google Earth (maybe 100 or so). I noticed the Statue of Liberty created by SketchUp was not placed yet. So, I placed it myself as a test. To place a model you need to have Google SketchUp installed on your machine (Windows only at the moment) – download SketchUp here. You also need to have a Google GMail Account to be able to log into upload to the 3D Warehouse. Here are the steps I took to put it into 3D Warehouse.
- I downloaded the Statue of Liberty model (from the announcement when Google bought SketchUp).
- Next, in Google Earth I saved the model as a KMZ file onto my machine. I then closed Google Earth.
- Then I started up Google SketchUp and chose “File->Import”, selected KMZ file type, and imported the Statue of Liberty model I saved. This takes a minute or two. Now you have the 3D model in SketchUp.
- I restarted Google Earth and did a search for “Statue of Liberty”. GE flew me to Liberty Island from above.
- I switched back to SketchUp and chose “Google -> Get Current View” from the menus. This gets a screenshot and location information from Google Earth. I then selected the 3D model, and chose the “Move” tool and moved the 3D model into the correct position.
- Then I simply chose the “Google -> Place Model” option. I got a browser view allowing me to log into Google Warehouse with my Google Mail account. Finally filled out the short form about the model. It then uploaded the model to 3D Warehouse.
If you load the 3D Warehouse Network Link , and type “Statue of Liberty” in the “Fly To” search field, you will now see the placemark for the Statue of Liberty model I uploaded. Click on the placemark and choose “Download to Google Earth” to see it yourself. This only took about 10 minutes to accomplish (most of that time was spent downloading, importing, and re-uploading). This process is actually amazingly easy for uploading models in my opinion. Nice work Google!