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Sketchup-ur-space Magazine - June 14

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School Students Rebuild Cumberland in 3D

Cumberland Junior School, a beautiful school on Vancouver Island has taken up SketchUp to rebuild the place. Only twenty students of grade nine of Cumberland Junior School make possible the work to chart lost heritage on Google Earth. They are preparing the 3D models of historic Cumberland building burned or knock downed since 19th century. They have also remodeled the modern storefronts which gives the Google Earth browsers a glimpse of how the village evolved over the years.

Though initially the project covered a small section of Cumberland, now it has stretch the scope and focused to building the whole village in 3D. Jim Curtin, the teacher of the computer graphic along with Nick Ward, an engineer instructed them how to draw the 3D building. They are using software like SketchUp, PhotoPaint, Google Earth and the Rebuild Site. The first place designed by them was an area of Cumberland's downtown, a historic part of British Columbia.

Cumberland was a coal mining boom dates back to the mid 1800. It was a major centre on Vancouver Island. The photo archive of the Cumberland Museum helps the students to see the changes of the main Dunsmuir Avenue where all the old buildings are well documented. They have tried to find out the earliest images of the buildings. By keeping all the building in a close area give a coherent picture of how the area has changed over the years.

SketchUp once again to proved its status of magic tool. The fascination of technology and social networking of modern day students has correctly utilized in this form. Google has to approve the finished product before the buildings can be uploaded to Google Earth. The ninth grade class learned they made the cut greatly. They uploaded 21 models among which 12 building models are already accepted. The project wasn't always easy, especially when the museum archives were short on detailed photos of old stores. But they have overcome all the barriers and deliver some really good works. According to Jim Curtin "People from Paris to India can now see what Cumberland looks like in 3D, instead of just a birds-eye view from the top down".

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