Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get Involved - Model Your Town Contest

If you haven't heard of the "Model Your Town Contest" by Google, take a few minutes and check it out. Essentially, Google is looking for individuals to create 3D models of their local community to be placed in to Google Earth. Check out this short video introduction that highlights Pella, IA.

Iowa has only a few towns that have 3D models of buildings. Des Moines has the state capital and a few other buildings in the downtown area, Ames has a few of it's buildings on Iowa State's campus in 3D, and Pella (which you saw in the video) also has buildings in 3D in Google Earth. If you are unfamiliar with Google Earth, download it, and play with it for a few minutes. It's awesome! Some great areas to check out on Google Earth in 3D are:

  • Rome, Italy
  • Chicago, IL
  • Disney World, Orlando, FL (takes a bit to load, but your kids will love it!)
This is a national competition but we want to give it some local importance. We are sponsoring our own "Model Your Town Contest" called "Build 3D Iowa". We are working out some details on our end concerning procedures, prizes, and other items but you can get started today. Here are some important details that you can use right now to get started.

Teams - Include five students (and one sponsoring teacher, the teacher can build models as well) or teams can include six students if one individual is at least 18 years old.

Technology - You need a Google Sketch Up (Free or Pro version) to participate. If you have access to a digital camera, that helps as well. If you are a student in a K12 school in Iowa and would like access to Google Sketch Up Pro, talk to your local technology director. All schools in Iowa were given free license codes for Sketch Up Pro last August.

Where to start? Find a small area in your local community to start with. Maybe it's the town square or possibly even the school district buildings. Start small and start simple.

Are adults allowed to participate? Yes, but the prizes we will have are for the students. We want all individuals to participate but we are focused on getting students involved in this contest!

We will continue to post items on the blog and hope you will contribute to the conversation!