What you see here is a 3D model of Google Campus placed inside Google Earth. The model is created using SketchUp that itself has become a part of Googleplex.

Google today acquired @Last, developers of SketchUp 3D design and visualization software for Mac and Windows.

Unlike other CAD programs, SketchUp is unbelievably simple (see screenshots of Sketchup Sandbox). Google users will find it relatively easy to build 3D models for Google Earth.



The connection is two-way. A 3D model can be placed into Google Earth (KMZ file), and geographic imagery can be imported into a SketchUp model. A SketchUp model prepared for Google Earth can be passed along freely to other Google Earth users.

Where's Google headed ? SketchUp makes great 3D models for Google Earth but at the same time, SketchUp is a powerful BIM software much like Revit 8.1 or the new 2D to 3D capabilities of AutoCAD2007 (see screenshot). Is Google setting eyes on the CAD market now ?

The SketchUp plug-in for Google Earth was jointly developed by @Last - Google Earth engineers and announced at the 3D Base Camp. While Google Earth and the Sketchup plug-in remain free, Sketchup authoring software is priced at $495.

Download Google SketchUp 5.0 - A SketchUp serial number and license key is required to unlock the Sketchup trail.

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