March 17, 2006

I'm a bit dazed...

The most important software I use is the stupendous program SketchUp, by @last Software. And @Last has just BEEN BOUGHT BY GOOGLE!!

What does it mean? I hope it means good things, although we all of us have had the experience of seeing a cool program bought by a big rich company, and then they do nothing with it and it ends up on the bone pile. But Google's a pretty cool savvy crowd, so hopefully things will work out. @Last has always been run on a shoestring, and hasn't been able to afford certain "frills and extras," like advertising. so this could be great for SketchUp.

SketchUp can be used for many things--I use it to design cabinetry--but mostly it's used by architects. It's awesome for modeling buildings. So maybe the plan is to model every building on earth, and incorporate them all into Google Earth! Then you could take a virtual stroll down any street, enter any (public) building....Links and databases could be associated with places..."walk into" a restaurant, and see the menu, the hours, maybe even make a reservation for a specific table that has a nice view...

Here's a screen shot (at screen resolution, rather fuzzy) of some current work. This one is past the "design" stage, but anything you see is totally plastic, and can be easily manipulated...I can select a face of a rectangle and "pull" it out, or grab one edge and "pull" that, turning it into a trapeziod-thingie. That crown-molding was made by drawing a profile, and then selecting a line for it to "follow."

SketchUp example
And it's a totally 3-dimensional environment. There is no 2-D view. I can rotate the plan with a push of my mouse so I'm looking from underneath, or behind or above...Zoom in or out like flying. Instead of being a "fly on the wall," I'm a fly that flies all the time...

Posted by John Weidner at March 17, 2006 10:12 PM
Weblog by John Weidner