Supermodeler Story: Zeljko Zdravkovic

Here’s a testimonial from Zeljko Zdravkovic (a.k.a Zex), who told us about his experience geo-modeling his hometown of Belgrade, Serbia.

I started modeling Belgrade because I wanted to create a 3D identity for my city. I first learned that it was possible to add a 3D building to Google Earth several years ago. I was very surprised and curious about this. I had also noticed a number of untextured models in Belgrade, and decided that I wanted to change that.

As is often the case when learning something new, I experienced many false starts. I didn’t know how to use SketchUp, or, publish a model to Google Earth. I tried and tried, in failure. It wasn’t until I noticed a little checkbox labeled “Google Earth Ready” that I realized why my models where not appearing! I laugh about it now, but it was very frustrating then!

I started to make 3D models in the summer of 2009. Today you can see over 500 models that I’ve made. When combined with the work of other geo-modelers, there are over 800 models in Belgrade, and almost 1200 models in all of Serbia (including Belgrade).

With the exception of some buildings and monuments, I’ve finishing nearly 90% of the city area. I’m hoping to complete the entire city by the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012.

Unfortunately, Belgrade area is not available in Building Maker today. If it were, it would certainly have been far faster and easier. But when I finish the entire city, Belgrade is going to be one of the most quality-built 3D cities in Google Earth, and that’s something that I take a lot of pride in—for me, model quality is number one!

Црква Светог Марка (St. Mark’s Church)

Google Earth is an excellent opportunity to promote your city to other people all over the globe. 3D models can benefit a city a lot. People all over the planet can see, learn from and enjoy the architecture of every building we make.

City TV Studio B now uses 3D “New Belgrade” area in Google Earth for traffic service information on their web site. They use a 3D map in their television broadcast. It’s such a fantastic feeling when you see your 3D models on TV, or used by others for very useful purposes.

It is so amazing how Google Earth has enabled the world to become so personal to us. Now anyone can visit every corner of the globe. It’s really amazing to me!