PLACE, one of the important 5 themes of teaching geography, is sometimes a daunting subject. What characteristics make a town, city, community, state, country or region unique or different from any other similar location on earth? City architecture and building designs often distinguish a location....and Google Earth/Sketchup has a competition that may inspire your students to create 3D portraits of places in their communities that make them unique.
Information about the GOOGLE Model Your Town Competition follows (from the Google Sketchup site):
GOOGLE MODEL YOUR TOWN COMPETITION
"Get Started Entries accepted until March 1, 2010
Google Model Your Town Competition
What makes your town an incredible place to live?
Show your civic pride (and maybe win a prize) by creating a 3D portrait of your community and sharing it with the world. You have the power to get your town on the map – and there's no bigger map than Google Earth.
See what other towns have done (Google Earth file)
The Google Model Your Town Competition is open to people from all over the world.
All you have to do is build 3D models of the buildings in your community. Model whichever structures you think are necessary to show the planet what's special about your town. Be recognized by your community for doing something great. Having a 3D model of your town in Google Earth helps residents and visitors understand it in a way that flat maps and photographs can't. You can be a local hero by making a contribution to your town's future.
Getting started is easy.
You can enter on your own or recruit up to five of your fellow citizens to help you form a team, and the software tools you need are free.
Get started today
Details, details . You can model as many structures as you like – which types of buildings you choose to include is entirely up to you. The important thing is that your choices say something about the character and history of your town. Modeling teams may include up to six members.
Buildings can be modeled with SketchUp, a free and relatively easy-to-use 3D modeling program from Google. You use SketchUp in combination with Google Earth to give models a precise geographic location. Buildings can also be modeled with Google Building Maker if your town is located in an area where Building Maker data is available. These models can also be edited and improved with Google SketchUp. Each completed building model should be uploaded to a dedicated town collection on the Google 3D Warehouse"