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Model images

24 April 2009

Virtual 3-D models created by John Wilkes (BA 1967) have been accepted by Google for their satellite-imaging programme Google Earth.

The designs feature real-life buildings from John’s hometown of Dursley in Gloucestershire, and can be viewed by anyone, anywhere in the world who downloads the software, constituting what their creator has described as a sort of virtual ‘tourism guide’.

John, who has now created an impressive total of sixty models of Dursley buildings using the free Google ‘SketchUp’ application, is eager to encourage Bristol students and alumni to use the same tools to make models of the University buildings: ‘I think it is possible to make virtually any shape. The only thing the software can't do is produce reflections.' Certain guidelines must be followed for the designs to have a good chance of being accepted by Google Earth, such as ensuring that the buildings’ true dimensions are retained.

More information on his work and the techniques he uses can be found on John's website.