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#1
Greg

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I have been veering off the Cartography track lately, doing a lot of illustrations for street remodeling.

(here's an example)

Posted Image

So far I have been using Illustrator for this work, drawing everything by hand..

I am wondering if anyone here has done any work with Google Sketchup? It seems incredibly easy to use, and could work for this type of work.

It's integration with Google Earth is a really interesting mix, and has so many possibilities in the cartographic world.

Any thoughts?
Greg Moore

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www.cartographicdesign.com

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I've tried it for a bit but didn't really get anywhere with it. The link with Google Earth can be very useful too.

Another one to consider, and free too, is Blender. If I'd have new year's resolutions, one of them would be to learn some more Blender :)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#3
Derek Tonn

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Greg,

You wouldn't want me personally doing that type of SketchUp work on anyone's behalf, but we have two outstanding SketchUp designers on our team who could likely make some quick and engaging presentations of that type of spatial information.

The main benefit of SketchUp vs. Illustrator, of course, is the ability to view that particular feature or area from any elevation or direction...versus the static view (one elevation, one direction) created in Illustrator. We've done about a half-dozen campus map designs in .skp so far...but we're starting to get more and more interest from architects and other public/private organizations who need outsourcing help to generate the types of views you have described.

I LOVE it personally! I'm not good at designing in SketchUp...but I decided a couple years ago to find 1-2 people who ARE good at it to help us, and I have to say it has been a very positive experience.
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#4
Greg

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Hans, I did some fiddling with Blender a while back.. It is similar to 3DSMAX, which I find incredibly difficult to use.
I am thinking of taking a course on basic 3D rendering to help me get started with this stuff.

Derek, I have seen you work before, but never realized that it was done in skp! Great stuff.
I hope to be able to produce something like that someday!

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any sketchup classes here in Ottawa, so I may have to rely on tutorials to get me going.
Greg Moore

g r e g @ c a r t o g r a p h i c d e s i g n . c o m
www.cartographicdesign.com

#5
rudy

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I'd use Sketchup for this sort of thing. We've acquired it in the office recently to display driving scenarios. It is much more flexible than Illustrator for this sort of thing. We've had to purchase the full version since the output resolution from the free version wasn't good enough. Still, worth the $500 investment.

#6
Hans van der Maarel

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Hans, I did some fiddling with Blender a while back.. It is similar to 3DSMAX, which I find incredibly difficult to use.
I am thinking of taking a course on basic 3D rendering to help me get started with this stuff.


Blender can be quite difficult too. Not trying to discourage you here, but I'm struggling with it too. I did have a 3-day 3DS Max course a couple of years ago, and several dozens of hours actually working with it, but all that knowledge has sunk to the bottom of my mind.

Anyway, I personally seem to have a bad effect on tutorials (they *never* do what they're supposed to do... tutorial says "click A, B will happen", I click A and all sort of stuff happens, except B...), so good luck ;)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#7
Jean-Louis

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My sketch up now refuses to import 2 D jpg graphics. The import menu only wants to accept other Skp,s. Anybody know how to correct this before I throw my entire system through the window?
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#8
Greg

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Jean-Louis, I had the same problem with Sketchup until I upgraded to the pro version. I had to do the upgrade anyway since I am using the software in a corporate environment.

You should be able to import raster images with the free version though..

I have been spending a lot of time on the SketchUcation forums. There are some great tutorials, and helpful forum members who are willing to help with most problems.

http://www.sketchucation.com/

Its worth a visit!
Greg Moore

g r e g @ c a r t o g r a p h i c d e s i g n . c o m
www.cartographicdesign.com

#9
Jean-Louis

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Thanks Greg.That looks like a great forum.

In the meantime. I will just use good old paper and lead pencil to do my 3D.
That's always the problem isn't it. It is more time efficient to use an old tried method rather than learn a whole new way when faced with a deadline. But every time I promise myself to learn a new software in my 'spare time', it never happens!
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#10
Giasen

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Does it pay to know Sketchup yet? I've dabbled with it since it came out but am wondering if most companies view it as an interesting garnish as opposed to a full blown job.
GPS

#11
Ed Gage

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Not that I've done great things with the program (yet?), but it sure is fun to play around with. Two great resources I've found helpful:

1. Aiden Chopra's "Google Sketchup for Dummies" (I try to steer away from the "dummies" series as a rule - too much pride - but this is a great book). He also has very nice youtube videos to accompany each of the chapters in the book, available at http://www.aidanchopra.com/
These are great even without the book

2. The "School" website and video podcast series (I accessed the latter via iTunes); their website: http://www.go-2-school.com/

I'm still working with v6, but some of the new features in v7 look great (e.g. vector export, etc.)

#12
Derek Tonn

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Thanks Greg.That looks like a great forum.

In the meantime. I will just use good old paper and lead pencil to do my 3D.
That's always the problem isn't it. It is more time efficient to use an old tried method rather than learn a whole new way when faced with a deadline. But every time I promise myself to learn a new software in my 'spare time', it never happens!


Excellent post, Jean-Louis!

I guess for me, I gave up even trying to personally learn how to use more-specialized tools such as SketchUp (using it to the point of being commercially viable, I mean), when there are already people out there who would do it ten-times better than I could after I spent the next 5-6 months doing nothing other than learning those tools. Same is true for me trying to personally draw at the drafting table! Let the experts (guys like you, Bob North, Jim Niehues, Nate Logston, Aaron Gasper, et al) do what they do best...then stay the HECK out of your/their way! :)

That said, I do think that SketchUp is FAR more than a "garnish" when it comes to wayfinding and design. Our demand for SU map designs has been slow to grow over the past two years...but I think that is only because those campus map designs are 2-2.5 times as expensive (time = money) to produce as their vector counterparts. As SketchUp gets even easier to use and existing SU designers get more and more efficient at producing their designs (lowering that multiplier), I think demand for those illustrations will explode. That's why I've been trying to get in on the front-end of that tsunami...finding a couple talented people to get us rolling instead of me having to spend 2-3 years to only get about one-third as good as they already are.

Specialization. A double-edged sword.
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#13
Mapper_Mac

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There is a book out there called Sketch Up For Dummies (they officially make a dummies book for everything) that is a huge help when trying to learn Sketch Up.

#14
CharlieG

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Hi, I'm a total newB to this mapping thing, but I have used sketchup for some mapping tasks. I'll try to find an image to post. But my basic workflow was to autotrace the contour lines from a topo map in illustrator and then output the topo lines as a DWG which can be imported into the free version of sketchup. Then using the sandbox tools create a bit of 3d terrain.

I used it for an "Armchair Architecture" contest for designing a fake golf course. It seemed to work pretty well.

#15
craigspc

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Hi,

I noticed that Lynda.com have a 4 hour video course on Google SketchUp. I don't know how good it is, but I liked the Essential training course that they offered for Adobe Illustrator. Here's the link if you're interested. I believe that you can watch certain chapters of the course free of charge in order to get an idea of what it's like.

http://www.lynda.com...e.aspx?lpk2=612




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