AIA Teams Up with Google to Launch New Architecture Layers in Google Earth

AIA's 150th anniversary celebrated through 3-D images on Google Earth

Apr 24, 2007, 01:00 ET from The American Institute of Architects

    WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Institute of
 Architects (AIA) ( ) launched two new AIA layers in
 Google Earth today: Blueprint for America
 ( ) and America's Favorite
 Architecture ( ). Marking AIA's 150th
 anniversary, the AIA and Google Earth ( )
 partnership demonstrates architecture's impact on the world to more than
 200 million Google Earth users.
     America's Favorite Architecture layer features the American public's
 favorite structures, as selected by a Harris Interactive poll announced
 earlier this year. Google Earth users can now see many newly-created 3-D
 models of the ballparks, bridges, buildings and memorials that characterize
 architecture for Americans and comment on the poll results. By clicking on
 the America's Favorite Architecture layer, users can view texturized 3-D
 images of the nation's most popular landmarks created with Google SketchUp,
 right down to the trees lining the sidewalks and flags flanking the
     The Blueprint for America layer documents community service efforts
 funded by the AIA, in which AIA members donated their time and expertise to
 collaborate with community leaders and local citizens to address issues
 such as homelessness, sustainable communities and downtown revitalization.
 Clicking on the Blueprint for America layer enables users to explore how
 AIA members and local citizens are working together to resolve real issues
 in their communities to create a vision for their future. The Blueprint
 projects are demonstrations of AIA civic engagement and foster an
 understanding of how citizens can find their voice to address specific
 issues related to the design and planning of their community.
     "Architecture defines the communities where we live, work and play, and
 thanks to the technology of Google Earth, we hope to connect communities to
 one another by opening the door to virtual exploration of design and the
 design process without the constraints of distance," said AIA CEO and
 Executive Vice President Christine McEntee.
     "The AIA partnership with Google Earth reinforces the message that
 architects and local citizens are part of a growing global effort to create
 a better quality of life in their community," said AIA President RK
 Stewart, FAIA. "By following the Blueprint for America projects as they are
 completed over the course of the next year, local citizens everywhere can
 find inspiration and insight into how they might become active or more
 effective in their community."
     The process of designing buildings and communities is changing due to
 new technology, such as Google Earth's SketchUp - a powerful yet
 easy-to-learn 3-D modeling software that combines a robust tool-set with an
 intelligent drawing system. Google SketchUp users can build and modify 3-D
 models quickly and easily, making architectural drawings more streamlined
 and efficient so that more alternative visions of the future can be
     "We're delighted that the AIA community is sharing their important work
 with new audiences in Google Earth," said Michael Jones, chief technologist
 for Google Earth and Google Maps. "The AIA layers in Google Earth enable
 users to better visualize, understand and appreciate the world around
     For more information on AIA and Google Earth, visit, or
 watch the AIA/Google Earth YouTube video available at: .
     About AIA150
     Celebrating 150 years, the AIA is the premier professional organization
 for America's architects. The AIA150 program, "Celebrating the Past.
 Designing the Future," honors architects for their dedication and
 commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation's buildings
 and communities. The cornerstone of AIA150, Blueprint for America, serves
 as a nationwide platform to unite architects and citizens to collaborate on
 their communities' design priorities. The AIA also released America's
 Favorite Architecture, as voted by the public through a nationwide poll
 with Harris Interactive. The AIA acknowledges the important financial
 support of AIA150 Corporate Founders Circle contributor McGraw-Hill
 Construction (Official Media Sponsor). For more information on other AIA150
 news and events, including Blueprint for America, visit
     About Blueprint for America
     Blueprint for America is the cornerstone of the American Institute of
 Architects (AIA) 150th Anniversary Celebration. Comprised of 156 community
 service projects funded by the AIA, Blueprint for America brings architects
 and the public together to address community needs related to design and
 livability. From downtown revitalization projects to affordable housing
 modules, Blueprint for America inspires people to think about the way
 architecture impacts their daily lives. Once completed, case studies from
 individual Blueprint projects will be compiled and shared with local
 officials interested in implementing similar programs in their communities.
 The completed piece, titled "Blueprint for America Mosaic: A Gift to the
 Nation," will be presented in 2008. The AIA acknowledges the important
 financial support of AIA150 Corporate Founders Circle contributor
 McGraw-Hill Construction (Official Media Sponsor). For more information,
     About The American Institute of Architects
     For 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have
 worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable,
 healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have
 access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design,
 and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities
 make their visions real. Visit
     Meghan Norville, Imre Communications
     Aaron Cohen, Imre Communications

SOURCE The American Institute of Architects