Why are you doing this, Mr. Sears?
I love buildings, I love photoshop, I love 3D models, I love maps… those are a good start. The best reason I can think of comes from my experience using Google Earth, and the fascination of manipulating the point of view among the buildings of Manhattan. I want to be able to do the same with my neighborhood in Brooklyn, and share it with the world. Yes, it's free content for Google, but on the way I am learning sketchup and investigating my city.
Some of these images on your buildings look terrible! Why?
That's jpeg compression. Clearer images would mean larger files, and with hundreds and sometimes thousands of images of building surfaces for Google Earth (and your computer processor, your connection/bandwidth) to handle, a medium needs to be reached or the experience would bog down and be less fun for the user. When a site takes too long to load, the user will go somewhere else.
The first models I made were heavily compressed and the file sizes were very small. puny. As I've worked, I've noticed that Google compresses the file on their end too, before placing it on Google Earth. A twice compressed file looks not so good, so I've been using higher res images recently.
How long does it take to make one of these?
A few days to a week or so. I've got to photograph, and then model the building, then put the photos together in photoshop… the modeling of the building always brings surprises– in a complex structure I sometimes have to return to the site and see what I'm missing.
Can anyone see them, or submit their own?
Yes, check the quick links page on this site for Google Earth and Sketchup downloads.
What keeps you from inserting "easter eggs?"
Dignity, honor, faithful reproduction, respect, all that bullshit. The fact that I make them and get credit for them is enough of a signature for me. Besides, the way I make them, they're cool enough. I don't need to tag them with secrets or put a naked man in a window.