For the past five years or so, Google has been working on recreating the world in 3D for Google Earth and Maps. It's been offering volunteer geo-modelers the tools to do so and it debuted several new tools along the years.Now it's launching a new "Your World in 3D" website to showcase all of the available tools, what's been done so far and also some of the best geo-modelers out there.
"We’re unveiling a totally redesigned Your World in 3D website," Nicole Drobeck, Geo Community Program Manager for Google, wrote.
"If you’re new to geo-modeling -- the term given to creating 3D buildings for Google Earth and Google Maps -- the Your World in 3D website has all the tools and info you’ll need to get up and running quickly," she added.
The new website is the one-stop shop for those looking to create 3D buildings with the Google-provided tools.
There is an overview of all of the related products, but also ways of learning to create your first model or more advanced techniques.
"Today, the 3D virtual world is in full bloom: hundreds upon hundreds of villages, towns, and cities have been added to the 3D map representing hundreds of thousands of 3D buildings from every corner of the globe -- truly, a testament to the power of open collaboration," Google added.
The geo-modeling program started with the acquisition of the company behind SketchUp, the 3D modeling software. Since then, Google has debuted other tools, like the simpler, web-based Google Building Maker.
Whichever tool you use, the first step is uploading the finished model to the Google 3D Warehouse. Then, if it gets approved, it may end up in Google Earth and Google Maps, for the world to see. Google is currently running a competition for modelers, particularly in South America, so if you wanted to give geo-modeling a shot, this may be the best time.