In the “not for everyone, but look how cool this is” department:
Many Internet users rely on Google to instantly find information about almost anyone and anything. Philippe and Thao Jeanty went a step further. They used Google to design their solar-powered home in rural Fairview.
“The beauty of Google Sketchup is you can move things around until it looks good. Anything Google does is good. And it’s free,” said Philippe, a physician who practices radiology in Nashville.
Using Google Sketchup, a 3D modeling program usually used by architects, engineers and other design professionals, not homeowners, the couple drew the plans for their home and all of its high-tech, low-environmental-impact features on a computer screen.
Interestingly, the house appears to have cost a not-obscenely-exhorbitant amount and is almost completely off the grid.
In Charlottesville, you can help Charlottesville Tomorrow model the City of Charlottesville in Google Sketchup. “(Their) goal is to model all of the urban areas of Charlottesville and Albemarle County in Google Earth.”