Google Reveals Details on 3D Buildings Layer Process

At the SketchUp Blog, Google has written an excellent post describing how they’ve changed the process for handling the pipeline of new 3D models posted to the 3D Warehouse for inclusion in the Google Earth 3D Buildings layer. Since this involves a community of 3D modelers around the world donating their time to provide quality content for Google Earth, I’m glad to see Google providing details on what they are doing to streamline the process so contributions are visible more quickly.
The process is not simple, and humans have to be involved. Judging the quality of 163 different versions of the Eiffel tower is not something easily left to a computer. Google chooses to show a user-generated model over an “auto-generated model” if the user-generated model is better. The process had been losing ground (i.e. models were being created more quickly than they could be reviewed). So, Google has streamlined the process. They have also modified their acceptance criteria so it is more lenient (meaning more models will be accepted). The article tries to explain their rationale for balancing quality verses their desire to accept as many models as possible.
I’m sure there will be models included now in the layer that some people won’t like. But, the 3D Warehouse provides feedback mechanisms for both rating and providing comments on models. So, hopefully the user community can help provide data to help in the judging process.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.

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