SketchUp Videos

Our Official Training Videos have been responsible for teaching literally millions of people to use SketchUp. Concepts of SketchUp, the first video in the old series, has been viewed over 7 million times. Collectively, people have spent something like 40 years watching that video. That’s a lot of popcorn.

As popular as they were, our old videos were getting a little long in the tooth; they showed SketchUp 6. We decided that they should be remade, so we locked Tyson in a closet with a computer and a pile of army rations. It worked—our new training videos are not only current, they’re gorgeous. With Tyson’s scripts and visuals (and Alex’s melodious narration), getting started with SketchUp has never been easier. Here they are, in order:

One more thing: We didn’t stop at the videos. We gave the whole SketchUpVideo YouTube Channel a facelift. With helpful navigation menus in the upper-left corner, a new masthead and a big, blue Download button right at the top, SketchUp’s home on the world’s biggest video sharing site is now a whole lot lovelier. Pop on over when you get a chance.

OAuth 2.0, Python & Google Data APIs


Since March of this year, Google has supported OAuth 2.0 for many APIs, including Google Data APIs such as Google Calendar, Google Contacts and Google Documents List. Google’s implementation of OAuth 2.0 introduces many advantages compared to OAuth 1.0 such as simplicity for developers and a more polished user experience.

We’ve just added support for this authorization mechanism to the gdata-python-client library– let’s take a look at how it works by retrieving an access token for the Google Calendar and Google Documents List APIs and listing protected data.

Getting Started

First, you will need to retrieve or sync the project from the repository using Mercurial:

hg clone

For more information about installing this library, please refer to the Getting Started With the Google Data Python Library article.

Now that the client library is installed, you can go to your APIs Console to either create a new project, or use information about an existing one from the API Access pane:

Getting the Authorization URL

Your application will require the user to grant permission for it to access protected APIs on their behalf. It must redirect the user over to Google’s authorization server and specify the scopes of the APIs it is requesting permission to access.

Available Google Data API’s scopes are listed in the Google Data FAQ.

Here’s how your application can generate the appropriate URL and redirect the user:

import gdata.gauth

# The client id and secret can be found on your API Console.

# Authorization can be requested for multiple APIs at once by specifying multiple scopes separated by # spaces.
SCOPES = ['', '']  

# Save the token for later use.
token = gdata.gauth.OAuth2Tokens(
   client_id=CLIENT_ID, client_secret=CLIENT_SECRET, scope=' '.join(SCOPES),

# The “redirect_url” parameter needs to match the one you entered in the API Console and points
# to your callback handler.

If all the parameters match what has been provided by the API Console, the user will be shown this dialog:

When an action is taken (e.g allowing or declining the access), Google’s authorization server will redirect the user to the specified redirect URL and include an authorization code as a query parameter. Your application then needs to make a call to Google’s token endpoint to exchange this authorization code for an access token.

Getting an Access Token

import atom.http_core

url = atom.http_core.Uri.parse_uri(self.request.uri)
if 'error' in url.query:
  # The user declined the authorization request.
  # Application should handle this error appropriately.
# This is the token instantiated in the first section.

The redirect handler retrieves the authorization code that has been returned by Google’s authorization server and exchanges it for a short-lived access token and a long-lived refresh token that can be used to retrieve a new access token. Both access and refresh tokens are to be kept private to the application server and should never be revealed to other client applications or stored as a cookie.

To store the token object in a secured datastore or keystore, the gdata.gauth.token_to_blob() function can be used to serialize the token into a string. The gdata.gauth.token_from_blob() function does the opposite operation and instantiate a new token object from a string.

Calling Protected APIs

Now that an access token has been retrieved, it can be used to authorize calls to the protected APIs specified in the scope parameter.

import gdata.calendar.client

# Access the Google Calendar API.
calendar_client = gdata.calendar.client.CalendarClient(source=USER_AGENT)
# This is the token instantiated in the first section.
calendar_client = token.authorize(calendar_client)
calendars_feed = client.GetCalendarsFeed()
for entry in calendars_feed.entry:
  print entry.title.text

# Access the Google Documents List API.
docs_client =
# This is the token instantiated in the first section.
docs_client = token.authorize(docs_client)
docs_feed = client.GetDocumentListFeed()
for entry in docs_feed.entry:
  print entry.title.text

Google Map Maker Updated Help Center

As part of  ongoing effort to answer your questions about Google Map Maker, we’re introducing a newly designed Help Center. In the new Help Center, you can find clearly documented policies and information about how to make edits and review others’ edits.

This Help Center, available in 20 languages thus far, includes tips and tricks to help ensure that your edits get approved quickly. Where possible, we also provide a rationale for why you’re asked to fill certain attributes or make edits in a particular way.

In addition, we’ve organized the Help Center into five guides, each addressing a key aspect of Map Maker:

Each user guide article follows a consistent format so that you can easily find and skip information with which you’re already familiar. Links to related articles are also provided where appropriate.

Please let us know if you have feedback about the new Help Center on the Map Your World forum, as that will help form our next round of improvements. Your tips and best practices for Map Maker are also most welcome.

You can get to the new help center via the Help link at the top right corner of Map Maker or visit