Want to do your part to build a little piece of the virtual Earth? A new free online application from Dassault Systemes and Microsoft is enabling individuals to do just that.
The new test version of Virtual Earth-3DVIA, which can now be downloaded for free, lets users create realistic 3D models, including buildings and structures, and share them through Microsoft Virtual Earth and other online communities.
3DVIA is Dassault’s platform to “democratize 3D,” providing the tools, content and 3D services for anyone to create a 3D experience and share it in the community. With the 3D modeling and visualization tool, users can design 3D models and select from different visualization options, textures and colors to provide a realistic appearance. These 3D models can then be uploaded to Virtual Earth, specifying an address or neighborhood so they can be displayed and experienced in a real-life context.
Google provides similar capabilities for Google Earth via its 3D modeling tool, SketchUp Pro 6.