Now entering the voting phase is Google’s Model Your Town competition, which invited users to ‘show their civic pride’ and create a 3D portrait of their community.
Entrants were invited to model their town using Google’s free SketchUp or Google Building Maker 3D modeling programs, selecting structures that they felt showed off their town in the best light (a tricky challenge if you live somewhere like Hendon).
A prize of $10,000 is on offer, with the dosh going to a school in the winner’s town.
The UK is represented by the small Gloucestershire town of Dursley.
Here’s how Google will be judging the entrants:
- Accuracy: Your models’ scale, location and orientation must be as true-to-life as possible.
- Photo-texturing: “Paint” your models with photographs of the actual buildings. Use photo-editing software to create textures that are devoid of trees, cars, people and other visual clutter.
- Efficiency: Make sure your town loads quickly in Google Earth by keeping your models simple.
- Detail: Create a sense of place by emphasizing things that make your town unique.
- Metadata: Include plenty of text information about the buildings you upload.
- Coverage: While quality is more important than quantity, model as much as you can to provide a compelling 3D experience for online visitors.
- Elegance: Strive for a combination of beautiful textures, lightweight models and rich metadata.
Google say that finalists will be picked by an internal team of SketchUp experts. From among those finalists, a winner will be decided by a public vote with the winning town will be announced by May 15, 2010.