Friday, August 30, 2013

An Introduction to Google SketchUp

A few weeks ago I vowed to post about a program I've been using called Google SketchUp. Today is the day that I keep my vow.

SketchUp allows anybody with a computer and a decent internet connection to model existing and historical buildings in 3 dimensions. One of the best features of the program is called "Match Photo," in which the user uploads a photograph, lays out dimensions along the X, Y, and Z axes, and draws their structure using some very intuitive tools. If you assign your drawing a scale, SketchUp will even infer what the building's dimensions are, enabling you to create your models quickly and accurately.

2D views of my model of the historical Main Gate of the Charlestown Navy Yard were posted in the Portfolio section several days ago. For the last four days, I've been sparring with Google's 3D Warehouse, trying to convince it to accept an uploaded file of my work. Today it listened to reason, and I now present for your viewing pleasure the restored digital Main Gate.

This is the first of many models to come, because I have big plans for Google's modeling program for the masses. Click the following link to see the 3D view on Google's 3D Warehouse, and check back soon to see more.

Main Gate, Charlestown Navy Yard (Historical):

The main gate of the Charlestown Navy Yard ( historically referred to as the Boston Navy Yard) was constructed in 1903, on the site of the current Gate 1 of Boston National Historical Park.

3D model by

Monday, August 26, 2013

National Trust Re-Post!

The 2nd article I wrote for, "The Devil's Advocate Guide to National Register Listing," has been re-posted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation! See it here. And if you didn't get the chance to see the original post in its original form, go and visit Meagan and Laura over at HistPres.


In other news, the Portfolio section has been updated with more samples of boxes I'm trying to tick while pursuing Humanities employment in a terrible economy. We have some 3D Modeling, some Grant-Writing, and some Exhibit Development, with more to come. So check them out. After you read the article, of course.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Update! August 10

I blinked, and now the summer's almost over. And I realize that I haven't posted for a while. I have no excuses except for the usual ones, like work, looking for work, side projects, and the occasional nap. So here's my last four weeks in a nutshell.

WORK. The summer may be winding down, but you wouldn't know it to see the crowds outside of Boston National Historical Park these last few weeks. Every tour we've sent out, every talk we've given at one or another historical site, every time we've had to resuscitate one of our rangers because they drew out a sentence too long, it's all been observed by hundreds of people. Where does the time go? God only knows. It's probably lost. Like everyone else in Boston's cow-path streets.

INTERVIEW! The first interview I've had in almost a year. It was for a preservation organization in Boston, and while I didn't get the job, I was able to muster some excellent references (thanks, Meagan and Laurie!) and put together a pretty good portfolio. Just getting brought in for the interview was exciting; it means that I must be doing something right.

ARTICLE PUBLISHED! Meagan and Laura over at recently published a second article of mine, "The Devil's Advocate Guide to National Register Listing." It's already been shared a few dozen times on Facebook, and it's going to be re-posted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation later this month. So that's cool. Check out the links: give Meagan and Laura a visit, and go heckle me on their forums. All the cool kids are doing it.

GOOGLE SKETCHUP! I've been wanting to write a blog post about this amazing program for months now, and I just can't seem to make the time. Let's just say that it's 3D modeling software used by many historical institutions, from preservation organizations to museums, and it has enormous potential for the field of digital history. I made a few models for my portfolio, and a few have been submitted to Google Earth to be vetted and uploaded to the internet. Expect to see more on this subject in the next few months.

FREELANCING! Throughout the last year or so, I've been networking like crazy. Since most historical organizations are going through tough times financially, and very few are hiring permanent, full-time employees, and the few that are are being overrun by applications from PhD's with centuries of experience, I thought that some of these organizations might be interested in contracting out some work to reasonably priced freelancers. So I've been gathering references and letters of recommendation, brushing up my dozens of resumes, and meeting as many people as possible. And it finally seems to be paying off! I've been in contact with several institutions who are interested in the possibility of working together. I'm not going to say who (it'll ruin the suspense!), but I'll definitely post updates once I get them myself.

That's all. Check back. Cheers.