Google on Thursday announced a free, personal version of the 3D modeling application SketchUp, which it acquired through its acquisition of @Last Software last month, writes TechWeb.com. SketchUp offers tools for creating 3D models of houses, for example, and comes with a plug-in for Google Earth, which provides satellite views of geographical locations. Google also launched 3D Warehouse - online storage for work created in SketchUp that allows users to search and share models they've created.
The scaled-down version of SketchUp is available for download (Windows only; a Mac version in the works); the Pro version is still available for nearly $500, writes ArsTechnica.
"Visionaries, utopians, virtual world builders: your time has come," says the announcement in the official Google Blog. "The new Google SketchUp is for the do-it-yourselfer, the hobbyist–really anyone who wants to build 3D models for use in Google Earth."