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Featured Geo-modeler: Don Shepperson

As an architecture student at the University of Kentucky, Don Shepperson started modeling existing buildings as a way to learn more about the formal language of cities and towns -- to study what works and what doesn't.

Don learned about Google Earth’s 3D Buildings layer the first time he opened that product to research the Lexington, Kentucky area. While doing that research, Don noticed how few 3D buildings Lexington had on Google Earth. As an experienced SketchUp modeler, he started creating local buildings by using image textures from Street View in Google Maps. With the launch of Building Maker, the process has become easier and more refined.

Since that time Don has been modeling, creating, and contributing to collections in the 3D Warehouse; he currently has 150 geo-models that have been accepted to -- and are viewable in -- Google Earth. Don feels that the more buildings he models, the better designer he’ll become as he uses these skills in the creation of his own designs.

Don would like to model as much of Kentucky as possible, then he’d like to move on and model buildings in other states and even other countries. To that end, he’s started a collection of LEED-certified buildings with the intention of creating more in the future. Of the many models that Don has created, his favorite is the style and bold attitude of the TVCC (Television Cultural Center) in Beijing, China.

Don's model of the TVCC buildings in BeijingDon's model of the TVCC buildings in Beijing