The 3D warehouse, as described in the post below, it Google/SketchUps new 3D data housing format and model search portal. As described by Google:
"Click here to download the 3D Warehouse network link. With this file Geo-referenced SketchUp models in the 3D Warehouse become available for viewing within Google Earth. Virtual world builders, start modeling!"Virtual World Builders... Very cool.
In a days work, I was able to take CAD footprints, photos, and a hand drawn archaeology map and produce a georeferenced, downloadable, and sharable models of insitu archaeological structural components (walls) and detailed surrounding standing structures. I hope my boss does not find out how productive I can be when Google does cool things like this.
Okay, here is a rundown of the online end of the 3D Warehouse. By clicking the "Share Model" icon, a Google window pops up that ties into your own Google account. (What else did you think you were going to do with those 2 gigs for each of the 10 Gmail accounts you have?). Type in a bunch of info about your model, including the Tags, and the upload begins.
You model is loaded in to your "My Models" page. From here, you can search the tags and filename of others people models. For instance, this is the return from the search for "Building".
When you find a model you like, you can download to either Sketchup or Google Earth. Simple as that.
It seems pretty obvious that Google wants a copy of Google Earth and SketchUp installed onto every able bodied computer. They want to see a legion of modelers "SketchIng" their favorite places, tagging them, and sharing them. Content of the world, built by the world, for the world. (or at least the 20% that have access to computers.)