SketchUp and Google Earth
Google recently released a free versionof the 3D modelling program SketchUp. SketchUp makes it really interesting to make architechtural models, and it is tightle integrated with Google Earth. To learn SketchUp I created a 3D model of Adler and Doane and Uploaded then to the 3D Warehouse. As you can see the default model of Adler in Google Earth is terrible! (thats the image on the the top) To add my model to your version of G.E. go here http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/ and search on Adler, museum or planetarium. One problem is that I can't find a way to turn off the old Adler model, but keep the rest of the Chicago buildings. Nevertheless, SketchUp + Google Earth holds lots of promise for interesting projects (annotated tours of observatories and the like).
I uploaded this model a hour ago and there are already 30 or so more recent than mine. Its a really clever thing Google is doing. Right now they have simple models for a handful of urban areas. Now they will get the public to model the entire world for them.