Last month, we introduced a new process for awarding Supermodeler status to the world's best geo-modelers — fewer than 70 men and women can claim this designation. As the winner of the November vote, Huang Chung-Tang (a.k.a. Tang) is the most recent member to join their ranks. With 140 top-notch models currently in Google Earth’s 3D Buildings layer, he’s certainly deserving of the honor. We interviewed Tang after we informed him that he’d come out on top.
Why do you geo-model, and when did you start?
I specialize in Interior and Space design. When I was young it was my dream to become an architect, so I wasn't able to fulfill my dreams. With SketchUp I was able to see that dream come true, and because of that, I started building geo-models for Google Earth. It’s a passion that I will continue in the foreseeable future.
My first model passed through Google’s review process and appeared in Google Earth’s 3D Buildings layer in 2008. The feeling of excitement when I see my models in Google Earth remains today. Maybe this is the Google Earth and SketchUp charm. I think all modelers share this kind of feeling.
Do you have specific modeling goals?
Yes. It’s my hope that more people in Taiwan will participate in geo-modeling. We could create a community where we work collaboratively to build geo-models of Taiwan to appear on Google Earth.
What model are you most proud of?
I have many models that I am proud of, such as: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City in China... etc. but I have to say, i'm most proud of the Taipei 101, because it represents a major landmark in Taiwan, and Taipei 101 exterior contains a deep and strong oriental meaning. That was the whole reason I wanted to take on that project.
What is your favorite model created by someone else?
That’s a tough question to answer because I admire many modelers including Enrico Dalbosco, José Manuel, Zeljko Zdravkovic, Filip Michalowski, Tomasz Szular, TANTUNNY, and others. If I had to choose, I’d have to say that my favorite modeler is Peter Gipuzkoa. He's working hard to turn Spain into 3D, and it is because of him, 3 years ago, that I set out to do the same for Taiwan.
My goal is have more buildings of Taiwan to be seen by everyone around the world. In the last few years Peter has taught me a lot about modeling, and helped me produce better models using SketchUp. I think this is what they mean by a "global village."