Seriously, this thing is actually free for most users. When it comes to design, designers always seem to choose SketchUp over solutions from Esri, Autodesk, and others (Believe me, I know. I used to work at one of the best). Now I’m not sold on this being something that drives use of Google Earth which I guess in turn drives use of clicking on ads. Basically SketchUp was acquired when companies like Google bought things without thinking of how they will fit in with the company 5 years later. But lucky for us, SketchUp has survived and thrived with a free version driving users to design on their platform.

Now the SketchUp team has new project called “Making Ideas Real”:

Here’s how you can pitch in: Use this form to tell us your SketchUp story. Send us an image of a SketchUp model with an accompanying photograph that shows your completed project. Anything goes for subject matter; architecture, archeology, industrial design, construction, woodworking, personal fabrication, model railroading, mousetrap design as long as SketchUp helped you make it, we want to see it. Professionals, semi-professionals and proud amateurs are all welcome.

Sounds pretty awesome, I know many people who as a hobby recreate the world around them in Google SketchUp. It also makes a huge 3D library available to the world for free. Seems like a great opportunity for the geospatial community to share our models with Google and get some great recognition. I love using SketchUp with my Wacom DTU-2231 Pen Display. It really frees me up to work with 3D models how I think spatially. Cool stuff!