I’ve been using Sketchup for a while now (demo version), initially seeing it at the MacExpo in London last year. It’s a brilliant tool, taking (in my opinion) a whole new approach to 3D modelling. It couldn’t be easier to use.
Sketchup introduced a tool to export models straight into Google Earth, and the rest is history. The company was bought by Google, who now offer a free version of the software, which is limited in what you can import or export. You will still need the ‘pro’ version if you want to use the software in conjuntion with (i.e. exporting to) CAD or 3D visualisation software.
Archaeologists – it’s very easy indeed to import an AutoCAD DWG into Sketchup (or aerial photos, DEMs or a combination), and have fun trying out different interpretations. You can then export them to Google Earth.
It’s a lot of fun, and dare I say it, rather useful.
Get more info at the Google Sketchup website.