Google 3D Warehouse Integration

August 19, 2011
Alexios Akrimpai
 
 
 
By Alexios Akrimpai
University of Essex, UK
 

Hi everyone, my name is Alexios, and I am (was) a member of Frontrunners project for Open Wonderland (OWL) at Essex University under the supervision of John Pisokas.

My project was to develop a module for OWL that will help virtual world designers to quickly and conveniently browse 3D objects from Google Warehouse (GW) and manipulate them in the ‘world’.

The functionality of the module includes:

1.      Easy search and page navigation within the Wonderland client.

2.      Download and install 3D objects in Collada format (Google SketchUp not yet supported)

3.      Save and browse 3D models locally

4.      Model details available on selection

5.      Search history

The internal design of the module is very simple. GW provides an RSS feed that is used inside the module to search for the models and all their info (e.g. author, description, download url, and etc.). Once this info is available, the software displays it in a nice format for the user, and allows easy manipulation (e.g. download, install) of the models.

The only major drawback of the module at the moment is that Google SketchUp models are not yet supported. This may change in the near future, when I, or someone else, may develop a ‘SketchUp to Collada’ independent (light) converter, or support to the SketchUp format directly from OWL.

The source code of the module is available in a github repository called Google-Warehouse-Explorer as well as in the Wonderland unstable module directory. I am pretty sure that the module contains a few small bugs that I missed. Also, I am planning some improvements for the next version. Please do not hesitate to let me know of any errors found, any improvements, and/or additional futures that you think will make it more useful and user friendly.


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