The Google SketchUp guys sent me an E-mail last night to let me know they have published a new feature at the 3D Warehouse. If you are viewing a collection you now get a Google Maps mashup that shows you the locations of all the models in the collection. If there are too many models at the current zoom level it groups them into a different placemark. See, for example, the 3D Warehouse collection for the University of Colorado at Boulder. The icons and behavior mimics the same interface you get if you download the 3D Warehouse network link for Google Earth (which lets you view all the models in the 3D Warehouse in GE). The advantage is that these Maps only show the models for the specific collection you are viewing. I like the consistency in the user interface. The new Maps mashup lets you zoom in and see the better road map detail in Maps which includes the shapes of the buildings. Of course, you can turn on the satellite/aerial photo view and see the real buildings as well. There are times when you need an interactive map right next to the web content you are viewing, so I think this mashup with the collections is a good idea. If you click on the placemark of a model, you get a link letting you immediately view the model in Google Earth as well.
See other example collections like: New York City, Las Vegas, Paris, or London.
I’ve just suggested to Google that they should add a network link on each collection page so you can view just the models for that collection within Google Earth as well.