Google adds new cities and features to Building Maker

Ever since Google released Building Maker last month, we’ve been big fans of it. 3D models are a very neat aspect of Google Earth, and Building Maker is helping to get a lot more buildings modeled for Earth in a very short period of time.
Despite our enjoyment of Building Maker, it has some shortcomings. Google has come to the rescue and addressed some of them. If you look in Building Maker now you’ll find:
More Cities: They’ve added eight more cities for you to model: Brussels, Belgium; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Cologne, Germany; Dortmund, Germany; Boston, MA; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; San Jose, CA. While none of the existing areas have been expanded, San Jose covers the largest area of any of the available cities.
Google Earth view in Location Picker: When choosing a location to model, you can switch your view to “Earth” to see which buildings are already in Google Earth. This doesn’t show you which buildings already have models that are awaiting approval, but it’s certainly a very useful tool.
Save Drafts: Now when you’re working on a building, you have the option to save it as a draft and work on it later. When you click the “Save” button, choose “Additional Options” and you can uncheck the box for “This building is complete and ready for review”. This allows you to go back later to work more on the building before submitting it for approval.
Freeform Polygon: A new primitive type of object is available, known as the “Freeform Polygon”. It’s a bit tricky to use, but can be quite powerful. If you want to try out this new tool, Google’s advice is to first toggle off the snapping tool, drag and constrain the points of the polygon in multiple images, and then toggle on the snapping tool to glue the points to existing blocks.
Here is a very simple video that Google created to show off some of the new features:

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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