Google and pop 3D software

It seems that Google recently bought sketchup, a simple 3D modeling program:

Google SketchUp (free) is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program that enables you to explore the world in 3D. With just a few simple tools, you can create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects - even space ships. And once you've built your models, you can place them in Google Earth, post them to the 3D Warehouse, or print hard copies.

For instance, here is the University of Southern California (USC) Tower:

Then it's of course possible to search, store/share those models here.

Why do I blog this? with Second Life, there seems to be a good trend towards this modeling thing. Clickable Culture has a good point about Second Life as a production tool: using the World Wide Web as a 3D design platform. I found intriguing the way virtual space and the real world can be intertwined by such practices.