New Sketchup 8 recently released now available free download from Google 1-10–11
Sketchup is an interesting 3d image rendering software program. It was recently acquired by Google. I think its worth a look at one of their summary 3D graphic design tutorials to get an idea of what’s possible with the program.
What I find maybe more interesting about the program besides its obvious application for building designers/product designers etc. is that it might have some hidden or untapped potential as webdesign software. Picture the ability of a webdesigner to render a 3d world with the software and then code into a building an actual store, or coffee shop or meeting place.
There are other software programs designed for just this purpose, however the purchase by Google, combined with the ability already available to plug in with google maps converges on a concept that might allow the software to be expanded into the virtual world.
None-the-less the tutorial provides a glimpse of how the software could be used in a different context. So beware of the alternatives as you view it.