Google is asking members of the community to create 3D building models with the aim of making Google Earth the most comprehensive explorable 3D atlas in the world.
Using online web tools provided by Google, users can turn a building of their choice into a three dimensional model. The user-created models will eventually become one piece of a larger 3D puzzle of buildings and structures displayed in the 3D Buildings layer on Google Earth.
The tool is called Google Building Maker and was launched on October 13.
"We like to think of Building Maker as a cross between Google Maps and a gigantic bin of building blocks," wrote Google in an October 14 blog post. "Basically, you pick a building and construct a model of it using aerial photos and simple 3D shapes - both of which we provide. When you're done, we take a look at your model. If it looks right, and if a better model doesn't already exist, we add it to the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth. You can make a whole building in a few minutes."
Each 3D creation will have to pass by Google's 3D Warehouse where it will undergo a strict review process before being approved.
By opening up the building platform to people all over the world, Google hopes to make the 3D Buildings layer the most comprehensive 3D atlas in the world.