Guide to building and submitting models in Google Earth
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Help put Charlottesville on the 3D Map, model our city in Google Earth!
Charlottesville Tomorrow wants you to help us build our community in Google Earth. We can utilize 3-dimensional models to bring into focus our community infrastructure and the built environment.
Our goal is to model all of the urban areas of Charlottesville and Albemarle County in Google Earth.
The Holsinger Building in Downtown Charlottesville
This model is almost complete in Google Sketchup.
Modeling a building requires two computer programs, Google Earth and Google SketchUp, both of which can be downloaded from Google’s website. Once you have these applications, follow the tips below for guidance on the next steps.
BUILDING AND SUBMITTING A MODEL
After choosing the building you would like to model, you must collect information about the building size and height. This data can be found through Albemarle County’s website or www.emporis.com.
When modeling a building, you do not need to include every façade detail or setback in order to have your submission accepted into Google Earth. A good model is photo-textured, photographs “painted” onto the faces of the model, which produces a smaller file size that is easier for the Google Earth platform to handle. It is important to take many pictures of each side of the building, including corners and details.
Once you have constructed and photo-textured your chosen building in Google SketchUp, find the building’s location in Google Earth so it can be correctly geo-referenced. To geo-reference your building, import a snapshot from Google Earth and align your model with the base of the building.
After completing theses steps, you are ready to import your building model into the Google 3D Warehouse to await approval into the 3D Buildings layer. If your model is accepted, everyone in the world will be able to view your 3D building in Google Earth. As you create more models and they are accepted by Google into the 3D Buildings layer, you will receive badges showing others your modeling expertise.
A complete tutorial for modeling buildings in Google Earth can be found at http://www.google.com/intl/en/sketchup/3dwh/pdfs/modeling_a_city.pdf
If modeling an entire building seems daunting to you, there are other ways you can do to take part in the modeling effort. Taking pictures of buildings in Charlottesville and uploading them into categorized web albums in Picasa, Google’s photo sharing site, is helpful for others involved in the modeling process.
We hope as the model of our city becomes more fully developed, it will be a valuable tool for businesses, residents, and officials of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to inform the community.
Tell us what you think. We will build out this online resource as more people begin working on the project. If you would like to help by building models or making a financial contribution to the effort, please contact Charlottesville Tomorrow's Brian Wheeler for more information: email@example.com or 434.260.1533.
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