In the four years that the SketchUp team has been working at Google, we’ve seen an unprecedented collection of user-generated 3D building models spring up all around the world. It is exciting and gratifying to see what you’ve all been able to do with SketchUp, and we’re always looking for ways to make your work more effective.

For all of you who are in on the 3D modeling action, I’m proud to announce the release of Google SketchUp 8 today. We’ve added loads of new features specifically designed to make it easier for you to build Google Earth-ready models of the places that matter to you.

New features in SketchUp 8 include:
  • Major new features for modeling in geospatial context and for creating new 3D building models for Google Earth.
    • Model directly from Google’s massive collection of earth imagery, including aerial, oblique and Street View photography in addition to detailed geometric terrain and user generated 3D building models.
    • Import and improve models created with Google Building Maker
    • Participate in a community of geo-modelers collaborating on the shared construction of a detailed 3D model of the world.
  • new “Solid” tools in SketchUp Pro for common additive/subtractive modeling operations
    • “Outer Shell” to quickly simplify complex models imported from Building Maker
    • “Union, Subtract, Trim, Intersect and Split” to create complex additive and subtractive form from simple components.
  • additional features in LayOut for documenting models professionally
    • Custom line styles
    • a simple set of dimensioning and annotation tools
    • native document export to DWG/DXF 2010 format

SketchUp 8 is available today in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German with more languages to be release in the weeks to come. SketchUp Pro costs $495, upgrades from any earlier version are available for $95. And, of course, there is still a powerful version of SketchUp available for free.