It probably will not surprise many of you that if you go to Google Earth 4 now with the new “Best of 3DWarehouse” building layer turned on that Google has modeled much of Boulder with photo-textured 3D buildings. After all, Boulder is where @Last Software, makers of SketchUp – and now part of Google, was founded and is still operating. SketchUp is a free 3D modeling software package that allows you to build and upload your own 3D models into Google Earth. I’ve created a YouTube video of the buildings in Boulder and you will see they have modeled the entire University of Colorado at Boulder campus. I also noticed the Google/SketchUp office building is not rendered, but the SketchUp guys posted some models of Boulder last year so I show it in the video.
Google is holding a contest right now to whoever builds the best 3D campus for Google Earth. Models must be submitted by June 1, 2007. From the contest site:
The top 5-7 teams (max 50 people) will win a 3 day trip to Google’s Mountain View headquarters to participate in a workshop with 3D modeling experts from Google, get free airfare and hotel, food in our world-famous cafes, and a guided tour of our incredible campus. Oh yeah, and lasting online glory!
The 3DWarehouse now has a new mini-video tutorial showing how to use the 3DWarehouse network link in Google Earth. The network link is a great way to find thousands of other 3D models posted for viewing in GE.