Google Earth takes UND 3D

Architects have been geo-modeling the campus based off 1,000 photos.

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Over the past 20 years, JLG Architects, a Midwestern based architect company, has been working with the University of North Dakota in developing 3D models for the campus and designing buildings, but over the last year, they decided to try something a little different. “Over the years we’ve been doing 3D modeling on computers, which has evolved over time. We thought to ourselves, ‘Why don’t we take the next step and use Google Earth as a project?’” said Jim Galloway, one of the owners of JLG Architects. Through a process called geo-modeling, they were able to construct a 3D replica of the University on Google Earth. How does geo-modeling work? Galloway gave an explanation of the process. “Designing a project can be very time consuming, and Google Earth has made this process much more simplistic.” Galloway said. “We had our summer intern students go to campus to take photos of the building exteriors. Then, with the help of Google Earth and the photos, they were able to create 3D wire frames of the buildings where they would paste the photos.” He also stated that during the photo shooting process, over 1000 photos were taken of the University.

Geo-modeling has opened a new door for people seeking to find their way around a certain place. Rather than just showing a picture, this process allows them to “walk” the streets of a location from the comfort of their home. “As for benefits of geo-modeling, potential students and faculty could take a pretty good look at campus before they come here” said Galloway. “If you click on the buildings, there are links with added information about the campus.” Not only are there benefits for the students and faculty of UND, but this process also helps the people at JLG Architects as well. “It allows the designers and architects to quickly visualize and see where a new project could go,” said Galloway.

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