Many people out there would like to get their home or business modeled in 3D for Google Earth, but don’t have the time or expertise to use Google SketchUp to do it themselves. Over time, Building Maker may provide a good way to do it, but right now it only covers a tiny fraction of the earth and the models tend to be lower quality than hand-designed buildings. What do you do in the meantime?
We talked last year about a few options. Concept3D and CyberCity3D both have packages available, and both do excellent work. The only problem is the pricing; Concept3D starts at $325, and CyberCity is likely in the same area (though they don’t list prices). They’re certainly worth the price, but what if you just want a simple model? Enter Estate3D.
Estate3D is a new service that will model your home or business for just $99. They’ll supply you with the resulting KMZ file and they’ll submit it to Google for you so that it’ll appear in Google Earth in the main “3D Buildings” layer.
For $99, they’ll do a single building that’s composed of 50 faces or less; more than enough for most individual buildings. You simply take photos of your building, upload them through their site and give them a few days to turn it around. I had them do my house so I could see how the process worked, and you can can see the result below or view it in Google Earth (3D Warehouse, KML). It’s a simple model, but they did a nice job with it. Along with the basic house, they added things like the front porch, back deck and the chimney.
If you have a model that you need done, I highly recommend you check them out.
A few notes about that model: The cut-off garage doors are a result of some crazy hills on our property, not the fault of Estate3D. Fixing that would require some terrain editing, which goes well beyond what they do. Also, the trampoline and fort in the backyard are not part of their typical package; just a fun bonus to enjoy. Estate3d will take on any unusual Google Earth modeling tasks you might have – if they go beyond the bounds of their $99 package you can simply apply for a “custom building”.