Gary Smith from Green Mountain GeoGraphics, Ltd., our 3D guru, shares his take on the new version of SketchUp and what he knows about its integration in the GIS world. He writes:
There are two big additions to the software. The first is called “Photo Match” ... this should make you think of GeoTango…
Photo Match enables you to create a 3D model by tracing a photo or matching an existing model to a background photo. Photo Match allows you to designate lines in a photograph that correspond to the axes in Google SketchUp. Then SketchUp calculates the camera position and field of view to equate the modeling environment to the photograph. You can also apply photos to one or more model surfaces or link photos taken from different viewpoints to re-create multiple sides of a building.
The other big addition is called “Layout.” It is still going through some refinements, so it is listed as “beta” software.
Here is the official text description for “Layout.”
LayOut (beta) is a collection of new tools for Google SketchUp Pro that makes it easy to build professional design presentations from your SketchUp models. LayOut lets you place, arrange, title and annotate SketchUp models, photos and other design elements to assemble presentation graphics and design documentation for print and screen. If you’re an architect, a builder, a filmmaker or if you just have a complex spatial idea that you need to present, LayOut can help you weave a compelling story around your design.
. Powerful: Communicate your design story from inspiration to finished
. Compelling: Create memorable presentations
. Flexible: Place both 3D and 2D elements on the same page
. Innovative: Actively manipulate 3D content on 2D pages
. Collaborative: Take meeting notes directly on the presentation pages
. Useful: Print high-resolution, large format hard copies
Google appears to be very serious about enabling and encouraging people to continue to build and add 3D content. With all of the improvements and additions in SketchUp Pro 6, Google wants to make sure everyone upgrades to version 6. To encourage this to happen…it is free! Here is the text we got:
Upgrade Message - Upgrade to SketchUp Pro 6 for free by June 30, 2007.
Free upgrades are available to users who have purchased any version of SketchUp Pro from either Google or @Last Software. To upgrade, please visit http://www.sketchup.com/upgrade and follow the instructions in the upgrade wizard.
If you don’t already own SketchUp Pro and would like to give it a try, download a free 8-hour trial at http://www.sketchup.com.
For ArcGIS users, I have been told by SketchUp staff that a new plug-in
(free) will be released very soon that will allow ArcGIS 9.2 and SketchUp Pro 6 to work together to create multipatch feature classes.