March 01, 2007
By Elisabeth Grant
There are many possible educational uses for Google SketchUp, ranging from students creating structures from ancient Rome to designing additions for their current schools. In addition to its possible academic applications, it’s also just kind of fun.
Google SketchUp is a free tool that you download and use to create 3D models (there’s also a professional version with a price tag). It’s integrated with Google Earth, so once you’ve created your building you can place it on a map. You can even share your models with the world, and see what others have created in the 3D Warehouse.
Right now Google is trying to get students even more involved with Google SketchUp by hosting the “Build Your Campus in 3D Competition.” The competition challenges “higher education student[s] in the United States or Canada” to create models of their schools’ buildings, “geo-reference” them on Google Maps, and submit them for evaluation. Winners receive “lasting online glory” and a trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.