that Google has released a free version of the popular 3-D drawing program, SketchUp, reviewed so well
on TechTalk earlier by Ken (Snyder). The free SketchUp now also incluedes a copy of "3D Warehouse network link", which apparently enables Sketchers to geo-reference SketchUp for viewing within Google Earth.
For example, there's a 3-D SketchUp of a tower at the University of Soutern Califronia, which can be downloaded to SketchUp or Google Earth, and which looks very interesting.
Apparently the commercial version of SketchUp Pro 5
is still available for purchase at $495, and the free Google SketchUp version is for personal use.
SketchUp Founder Brad wrote a very nice message announcing
Google's purchase of @Last Software, the creators of SketchUp. He writes in mid-March:
WHAT'S NEW -- Well, about the biggest thing ever: we've been Googled. That's right, Google Inc. has acquired @Last Softwareâ€¦ so you might have just spit your coffee all over your keyboard, or you're rolling your eyes thinking this is another one of my April Fool's jokes. Believe me, we're still having a hard time believing it ourselves, but it's real â€" we are now Google!
My guess is that having a free personal version of SketchUp, great tool that it is, will dramatically increase sales as folks like me get used to using it for personal projects, and then find ways to apply it at work and for our clients. I'd love to profile a cool SketchUp project as a Planetizen Feature
. If you'd got one that's impressive and related to planning, send me an email.