The University of Alberta

We’re big fans of 3D buildings and the realism that they add to Google Earth, and universities around the world are continuing to be the leaders in that area. Recently we showed you Terbuka University in Indonesia, and previously we’ve shown you excellent 3D campuses from Northeastern, the University of Wisonsin-Fox Valley, Central Florida and dozens of others.

Today we’ll take a look at the University of Alberta. Lawrence Kwok emailed us to let us know that a team of himself and three other students (Max Amerongen, Matthew Hale and Veronica Krawcewicz) have modeled the majority of the campus, and it’s looking great!


While the buildings are looking excellent, they’re far from finished. This summer they’re working through an initiative to redesign the online campus map. While the map currently has quite a lot of data in it already, they’re hoping to improve the mobile experience.

To explore their 3D buildings for yourself, you can visit this page on Google Maps or download this KML file to fly directly to it in Google Earth.

via: GoogleEarthBlog

Introducing the SketchUp Showcase


It’s our sincere pleasure to unveil The SketchUp Showcase, a home for the most impressive, interesting, and inspiring project stories that have been shared with us.

Why a new showcase? Often, when you find an amazing model in the 3D Warehouse, it doesn’t tell the full story behind a project. You can download it and see how it was built. But you probably wouldn’t get a sense of why it was built. Where did the inspiration come from? What were the design challenges the modeler faced? What happened after the model was finished? The story just isn’t complete.

The Showcase is a space where the stories, images, renders, animations, and 3D models of passionate SketchUppers can shine a bit brighter.



What was the inspiration behind this 3D model? | Image courtesy of Roberto Bergamo 


But that’s not all – the Showcase is also a first look at a new element of SketchUp technology: an online 3D model viewer. This 3D viewer lets you orbit, zoom, and pan 3D models right in your browser! To see it in action, find a project marked with a red flag or simply click here. Please note: you’ll need to use the latest version of Google Chrome to take advantage of the WebGL goodness that makes this viewer possible.

Go ahead and start exploring now; content is organized by category filters, so you can easily find projects based on your interests.

A project page featuring the new online 3D viewer | The Catalyst Playground in VietnamFinally, our team would like to dedicate the SketchUp Showcase to all the passionate SketchUppers who’ve supported us for over a decade. As we enter a new chapter with Trimble, we hope the Showcase and the online viewer are proof that SketchUp is only getting better. It’s clichéd to say we wouldn’t be much of anywhere without you, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Thank you for all of the love (sometimes tough) you’ve sent our way. Your passion for SketchUp is still what gets us out of bed in the morning.

Updates to local business listings

Our goal to create a digital representation of the real world doesn’t just mean a birds’ eye view through Google Earth, or a street-level view through Google Maps. It means providing a local view as well, and tools like Google Places help people across the globe learn about and connect with the places and businesses in their immediate areas.

We use a variety of authoritative sources to give users relevant local information about places that might interest them, including data from partners, users, and directly from business owners who verify their organic listings via Google Places for business. In addition, we always want to know about changes to a business that should be reflected on our local search products. That’s why we have the “Report a problem” tool on Google Maps, and also enable users to click on the “Edit this place” link at the top of the Place page to provide updates to a business listing.

And while some business owners may have previously verified their organic listing to ensure that their company information was correct at that particular moment in time, we recognize that amidst all the work that goes into running a successful enterprise, remembering to update their Google Places account may not always be top of mind. Oftentimes, a neighborhood local or a loyal customer is eager to help their favorite business update its online presence when it moves into a bigger space across the street, or extends its hours for the summer season.

That’s why today, we’re introducing a new process that helps streamline the way updates are made to potentially outdated or incorrect business listings. Previously, verified business listings would always reflect the information provided by its owner – even if we received data about an updated name, address, or hours of operation. But now, if a user provides new information about a business they know — or if our system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places — the organic listing will automatically be updated and the business owner will be sent an email notification about the change. Without requiring any effort on the part of the business owner, we’ll take measures to keep their listing up-to-date if our system determines that the edit is accurate. Of course, if the business owner disagrees or has even more recent information, they can always directly log in to their Google Places account and make further edits.

Online ads from business owners using our AdWords or AdWords Express programs will not be affected by these automatic updates. Ads will continue to display the business information the owner has provided in Google Places.

We hope these new features help users find the most accurate local information available, and make it even easier for business owners to manage their online presence. If you’re a business owner with additional questions about your specific listing, please consult the Google Places for business Help Center