Google Geo Teachers Institute - 4 of 5

The second day of the Google Geo Teacher Institute in Dublin was themed around Google SketchUp. Except it's no longer owned by Google, but by Trimble.
Google SketchUp is something that I explored when it first launched, and then couldn't see the real 'killer application' for it in the classroom in the same way as I did with Google Earth.

Noel Jenkins made some early use of Sketch-Up models when it first launched to 'place' wind turbines in the locations where they would be placed, so that their impact could be visualised.

Sketch-Up is a FREE download.
It enables the production of 3D objects which can then be located and viewed in Google Earth. Here's how one looks in the landscape:

I discovered that there was a model in the warehouse of a distinctive landmark which I pass regularly: the large Ecotricity wind-turbine in Swaffham, Norfolk which provides power for hundreds of homes in the town.

We were lucky to have Beryl Reid presenting, who had been involved in a project where she modelled many of the buildings in her town of Billerica (not Billericay)

We were shown some videos, some of which are available from the links here, or the official YouTube SketchUp Channel...

How did Beryl get her buildings to look so life-like ?
She used a technique called Geo-Modelling.
This involves 'placing' models in the landscape where they are actually located, and then adding realistic photo-textures from Google Street View.

A few final links on SketchUp
The 3D Warehouse, from where I got the wind turbine model.

A post from David Rogers on using it a while back.

Finally, if you teach in Ireland, you have a free SketchUp PRO license to use. There's also one that's been purchased for CAMBRIDGESHIRE for example... Here's the person to get in touch with if you want to access that...