Geo Week News

April 26, 2012

Trimble acquires Google SketchUp


SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Trimble today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SketchUp, a popular 3D modeling tool, from Google. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions regulations. While financial terms are not being disclosed the transaction is not expected to be material to 2012 earnings per share, according to a press release.

Google acquired SketchUp from its developer, @Last Software, in 2006.

As part of the SketchUp platform, Trimble will also partner with Google on running and further developing SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, an online repository where users can find, share, store and collaborate on 3D models. The site enables users to create collections of models, including 3D Buildings, and share them with fellow modelers around the world. Individual models can be loaded, saved and viewed in 3D from within SketchUp or a web browser. For the foreseeable future, Google will host and operate the 3D Warehouse for Trimble and together the companies will continue to offer the same capabilities, functions and services that are offered today, according to the release. The ability for users to submit 3D Buildings for potential acceptance and viewing in Google Earth will be maintained.

Currently the 3D Warehouse has almost two million user-generated models.

On the official Google SketchUp blog, John Bacus, SketchUp product manager, writes that there have been 30 million SketchUp activations in the past year, though he doesn’t say how many of those are the free version vs. the Pro version that costs $495.

“SketchUp and the corresponding 3D Warehouse provide an important element of our long-term strategy by enhancing the integration of our field presence with the wider enterprise,” said Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble vice president, in a statement. “Trimble has already created the de-facto standard for field data models and project management tools for our key markets. SketchUp, together with these existing capabilities, will provide a stand-alone and enterprise solution that will enable an integrated and seamless workflow to reduce rework and improve productivity for the customer. Users will be able to collect data, design, model, and collaborate on one platform. The combined capability will enhance our ability to extend our existing market applications including the cadastral, heavy civil, and building and construction industries. In addition, the SketchUp platform will enable Trimble, third-party developers and our distribution partners to efficiently develop new applications.”

“In Trimble, we found a partner that will grow SketchUp in a way that best supports the SketchUp team and our users,” said Brian McClendon, Google’s vice president of engineering, in a statement. “While at Google, the SketchUp community grew significantly because the team put users first, and we are confident they will continue to do so at Trimble. We at Google look forward to a continued partnership with Trimble and the SketchUp team.”

SPAR continues to report on this story.

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