It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it. – Steven Wright
If modeling the planet is like painting a house, Google provides a lot of different brushes. Internally, we have these big paint sprayers that we’re using in major cities to cover huge swaths of suburbia in a single stroke, but when it comes to the fine work, Google SketchUp and Google Building Maker are the hand brushes. They allow people all over the world to fill in the gaps, perfect signature buildings, and smooth over the mistakes left by the big rollers. With SketchUp 8, the geo-modeling brush set is better connected with Google’s massive geo-data paint bucket than ever before.
Jumpstart your model with Building Maker
SketchUp 8 can open Google Building Maker models downloaded from the 3D Warehouse, and every image used for texturing is automatically created as a Match Photo scene, saving you huge amounts of time gathering measurements and photographs of a building.
Open your Building Maker model and the new Outer Shell tool can merge its primitives into a single SketchUp mesh. From there, the revamped Scenes dialog box and Igloo Mode makes organizing and navigating between your scene tabs a snap. There are even new Style settings for the opacity of Match Photo overlays and backgrounds. A new Back Edges line style provides traditional hidden-line visualization of edges behind or inside your building, and the Push/Pull tool now has a preselect mode that allows you to move faces that you can’t see from a given scene.
Get highest quality, full-color terrain and imagery
The new Add Location feature allows you to import terrain directly into SketchUp without having to fire up Google Earth. Your imported terrain is higher resolution than it was in SketchUp 7, more accurate, and now in full color. Also, Photo Textures from Street View in Google Maps are now part of the revamped Google toolbar.
Model in context
If you’re designing a new building, you can use Building Maker right inside SketchUp 8 to create context models around your site. Simply Add Location to geo-locate your model, and then click the Add Building button. If your site lies in one of the (ever growing) list of Building Maker cities, you’ll be able to create the surrounding buildings in a fraction of the time it would take to model them from scratch. Also, you can find nearby buildings that others have modeled by selecting “Nearby Models” from the Navigation drop-down menu in the Components Browser.
Posted by Scott Lininger, SketchUp Software Developer