A couple people have asked me why I haven’t posted anything on the new “free” Google SketchUp. Well simply put I don’t consider it of any importance to the GIS community. First off I love working in 3D so don’t think this is me ignoring the possibilities. There are two big problems I see with Google SketchUp at least as this new “free” version is concerned. The program is only free for personal use so it is of no use for our company. We could buy the Pro version but spending money on something we don’t have time to use isn’t a good use of tight resources.
The Google Earth community is excited because they have a new toy to play with and maybe this will trickle down into the GIS community at large when more people start understanding 3D modeling, but from the standpoint of a GIS Professional this isn’t anything to get excited over. Having a 3D model of Taj Mahal is visually pleasing (eye candy), but it won’t help you perform your GIS analysis any quicker. Honestly the only way I’d get excited about Google was if they announced that they had 1 meter DEMs for the whole world available for free for download. Now that would help any GIS Pro get their job done quicker and easier.