Today we’re announcing a new approach to bestowing “Super Modeler” status on our geo-modeling rock stars. More on that below—but first a little history.
A new form of 3D modeling began when @Last Software, the maker of SketchUp, was acquired by Google in 2006. Modeling 3D buildings for the purpose of viewing them in Google Earth went from being a quirky activity to a new art form. We refer to it as "geo-modeling.”
Being 3D enthusiasts ourselves, we were always on the lookout for good building models in the 3D Warehouse. When we discovered particularly impressive ones, we would add them to the featured modeler collection.
Internally, we used the phrase “super modelers” to describe the people creating these amazing models, but it wasn’t until we started planning the first geo-modeling conference in August of last year that we began to publicly refer to modelers in this way. Following the event, a newsgroup was established, a collection created, and the user community representing some of the most skilled geo-modelers was officially born.
As the geo-modeling community expanded, so did the number of people creating remarkable models. We continued to add new modelers as we discovered them, and earlier this year we introduced badges in the 3D Warehouse—with one designated specifically for Super Modelers.
With badges comes competition—more and more modelers began to ask how they could earn this honor. As time passed it became evident that we needed a clear set of criteria by which a modeler would be considered. The time had also come to establish greater transparency for how these decisions were being made, and who was making them.
So today we’re announcing a new process to become a Super Modeler—you decide!
It works like this: Each month the Super Modeler community will nominate ten geo-modelers who they believe are, well, super. Votes will be accepted for a three-week period. At the end of that period, the modeler who has received the most votes will become the newest Super Modeler.
In addition to being awarded a Super Modeler badge, the winner’s collection will be prominently featured on the Google 3D Warehouse until the next Super Modeler is selected. They'll also receive a one-of-a-kind “I’m a Google Supermodel(er)” t-shirt from the Google team.