SketchUp is an amazing free program that allows users the opportunity to create 3-D structures and, assuming that they meet Google's fairly lenient requirements, upload those structures to Google Earth. Clicking Google Earth's "3D Layer" button allows you to zoom to street level view and view these structures as if you were standing in front of them.

This technology has potential not only in planning vacations but also in cultural documentation and preservation. Historical buildings that are no longer standing can be modeled and uploaded to the internet; not on Google Earth itself (one of their requirements being that the structure is still standing), but on institutional and personal websites. This allows us to see what we've lost.

Using Google SketchUp, I took this photograph of the Charlestown Navy Yard,

Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library

and was able to create this model,
which is the 2D image of this 3 dimensional structure,

which can be viewed by clicking on the image and visiting the Google 3D Warehouse.

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