Feeds

Mystery as Google offloads SketchUp 3D drawing tool

Spatial specialist Trimble partners with big G to keep SketchUp warehouse alive

High performance access to file storage

Google has decided that the 3D modelling business is non-core and has sold its SketchUp tool to spatial specialist Trimble.

SketchUp was a free download and offers users the chance to make 3D models of just about anything, either by building them from scratch or by downloading them from Google's Warehouse of user-generated 3D models. The application integrated with Google Earth, a feature that led to its acquisition from US company @Last Software in 2006.

Google is saying very little about the reasons for the sale. The company's official blog is silent on the transaction and the SketchUp blog offers only the comment that “there’s still so much we want to do, and we think we’ve found a way forward that will benefit everyone—our product, our team and especially our millions of users” as a rationale for the sale.”

Trimble's statement on the sale says it will “partner with Google on running and developing SketchUp's 3D Warehouse” but offers no insights into how it plans to integrate the software into its portfolio of specialist modelling and mapmaking tools.

So why did Google offload SketchUp? And why was its intention to do so not even mentioned in the context of it's spring cleaning plans?

Leominster, Herefordshire, Google SketchUp model

A model of a building in Leominster, Herefordshire created with Google SketchUp

Our guess is that there simply wasn't any money in it, perhaps not even through ads alongside the Warehouse of models. With Larry Page focusing the search giant on its most important efforts, SketchUp was therefore surplus to requirements.

But the realisation that the tool was non-core seems to have come quite suddenly. Only a month ago the company was handing out awards for the best models in the world, including the rather pretty model from Leominster, Herefordshire, above. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.