Monday, June 04, 2007

Google Earth Models at X Prize Cup

RLV News posts about a section of the X PRIZE Cup page showing Google Earth space-related models. These are made using SketchUp, an impressive modeling program that already had some Google Earth tie-ins when Google bought the company a year or 2 ago. When I looked into SketchUp last year, people were making entire SketchUp campuses and cities, and finding all sorts of other applications using it with Google Earth.

There are a lot of space connections within Google, including Google Earth, a huge model of SpaceShip One at Google headquarters, support for the X PRIZE Foundation, family members in NASA, and collaboration with NASA Ames. In fact, it's easy to find a prize-related connection with Google, too! Here it is: Google is licensing remote sensing technology from the Stanford DARPA Challenge team to supplement their SketchUp offerings for Google Maps and Google Earth! (Yes, Stanford is the Alma Mater of the 2 founders of Google, but the Stanford team also won the original DARPA Challenge).

I'm pretty sure at least some of the models were there during the 2006 X PRIZE Cup, but a lot of the content is new.