SketchUp Your Library
February 12, 2008 § 1 Comment
SketchUp (or should it be ScatsUp?) is a free 3D modeling tool from Google. I just had a bit o’ fun searching for 3D models housed in Google’s 3D Warehouse. Apparently, it’s pretty easy to use and there seem to be lots of good tutorials out there. And here are a couple of videos of SkethUp in action.
What can libraries do with SketchUp?
The obvious thing is to SketchUp your library. There’s already a collection of about 60 library buildings in the 3D Warehouse (see the Denver Public Library above). The Ubiquitous one posted about using SketchUp for library renovation planning, tinkering, modeling.
For academic libraries, Google announced yesterday that they are having their second International Model Your Campus Competition. Libraries may want to publicize this to their students. The library at NC State hosted a demo of their school’s entry.
The Google Lat Long blog posted about a small town in Tennessee called McMinnville (even the name sounds small) that is embarking on a collaborative effort to create a 3D model of their town. Why? Because: “many towns are faced with the challenge of balancing the need for growth with historic preservation, while seeking more effective ways to engage the community in a dialogue. The introduction of realistic yet virtual representations of towns could help facilitate solving these issues.” Any library interested in facilitating community dialogue may want to investigate potential uses for SketchUp.
While all of this may seem a bit um fluffy… Tim O’Reilly has a smart post on the (future) importance of all this “augmented reality:”
It seems to me to be a really important long-term play in the mapping space. After all, so much of the built world we interact with isn’t represented at all on the maps we use. An address on the 37th floor of a building looks just the same to our mapping system as one on the first floor. But does it need to be that way? Not in a future where we’ve populated our maps (at first perhaps Google Earth, but eventually web-based maps as well) with additional layers representing the human-built world.