Google has launched Google SketchUp 8 (http://sketchup.google.com/), which sports a redesigned workflow for geospatial modeling, which is critical for both Google Earth modelers and professionals who need to make digital site models for their designs.
Modelers can now take advantage of access to high-quality imagery and terrain data from Google Earth and a direct connection to Google Building Maker, making it easier to model existing structures. Google SketchUp 8 also sports an all-new collection of Solid tools for performing common additive/subtractive (“Boolean”) modeling operations, which allow for the calculation of volume.
These new tools (Union, Intersect, Subtract, Trim and Split) allow modelers to generate otherwise hard-to-create 3D forms by combining multiple solids, representing a significant time savings for a very large proportion of SketchUp Pro users. There are also SketchUp 8 additions in LayOut 3, a SketchUp Pro 8 companion application for turning 3D models into scaled drawings and presentations including drafting, dimensioning and annotation tools and an export path to DWG/DXF 2010.
Google SketchUp 8 is available today in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German with more languages to be released in the weeks to come. SketchUp Pro costs US$495, upgrades from any earlier version are available for $95. And, of course, there is still a version of SketchUp available for free.