While google is a big name in many fields, one sector where they have yet to gain much repute is as a design tool. Yes, Google has plenty of design utilities available for users, but the “go-to” companies in this era are groups like Adobe or Corel or GIMP; Google is hardly a blip on the radar. However, a new round of publicity brought in by outside artists may be changing that for one of Google’s design features.
That feature is Google Sketchup, a 3D image creation utility that’s designed to be easy to use and which enables easy sharing of created images (including through adding the images to Google Earth), and it’s getting more attention thanks to Barnaby Gunning, a British architect. As reported by the official Google blog post, Gunning came to Google with an ambitious proposal: He wanted to create a 3D model of an entire city in SketchUp.
It wasn’t just any city, however, but l’Aquila, Italy — a region that was ravaged by an earthquake in 2009; that quake caused the death of over 300 people, and it destroyed much of the city. Gunning wanted Google’s help in re-creating the ruined city in an effort to spread word and help gain more attention for the reconstruction of the area. To this end, a Googler was sent to l’Aquila to give SketchUp classes to a volunteers working on the modeling of the city. Those volunteers have since been hard at work, and several of the buildings are now completed and integrated into Google Earth.
Certainly, the project helped bring attention to Google’s impressive building creation tools. More importantly, though, is what those buildings represent to the people of l’Aquila. You can find more details on the relief efforts, and the SketchUp project, onGunning’s website.