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SketchUp (formerly Google Sketchup) is a 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, civil and mechanical engineering, film, and video game design — and available in a freeware version, SketchUp Make, and a paid version with additional functionality, SketchUp Pro.

SketchUp is currently owned by Trimble Navigation, a mapping, surveying, and navigation equipment company. The company was independent from 2000 to 2006 and owned by Google from 2006 to 2012.

The program's authors describe it as easy to use. There is an online open source library of free model assemblies (e.g., windows, doors, automobiles, etc.), 3D Warehouse, to which users may contribute models. The program includes drawing layout functionality, allows surface rendering in variable "styles", supports third-party "plug-in" programs hosted on a site called Extension Warehouse to provide other capabilities (e.g., near photo-realistic rendering), and enables placement of its models within Google Earth.



Materialise has joined hands with Trimble to offer a new cloud-based service that will significantly progress the availableness and printability of 3D models currently belong to Trimble’s 3D Warehouse. Sketchup 2015 is the most updated version of Trimble and in this version the 3d warehouse has been expanded significantly. There are approximately 3 million downloadable 3D models which are downloaded by near about 1 million visitors per week over 4 million times. With this alliance, the printable aspect of 3D Warehouse will be supported by Materialise’s new cloud services to produce excellent STL files as well as adjust models if necessary. Trimble’s partnership with Materialise, will facilitate the 3d modelers and 3d artists to get rid of the general snags and inconveniences associated with 3D Printing workflows. The users will be capable of distributing and securely avail print-ready files directly inside 3D Warehouse. Materialise has been producing software for employing handy applications of 3D Printing, both medical and industrial to facilitate the users of 3D Printers to reap the huge advantages from their machines. By integrating new cloud service to 3D Warehouse, Materialise aims in providing a better user experience to the biggest 3D printing community. The Printables feature allows this community comprised of designers, artists, makers, and more, to concentrate more on the design and formation of consequential 3D Printing applications.

SketchUp is available in two versions, free and Pro. For teachers and students, the free version has enough functionality to get started, learn the software, and have fun. The Pro version is not required unless you really want (or need) to dive deeply into the software.

If you do outgrow the free version, you might want to compare SketchUp Pro with Blender (a free open source 3D software tool) or CAD software, both of which are high end professional software. There are other professional 3D software tools to consider, as well.

In addition to the SketchUp Video channel on YouTube, there are a number of other videos online, including one that shows how to turn a SketchUp model into a printed 3D object. Links are below.

Definitely SketchUp is simple enough to appeal to people who don’t like programming but want to play with computer software in fun useful ways. Creating three-dimensional models also happens to be a skill you can use to get paid work if you master the software.

SketchUp 4 and later support software extensions written in the Ruby programming language, which add specialized functionality. Such extensions may be made available to others on the SketchUp Ruby Forum. SketchUp has a Ruby console, an environment which allows experimentation with Ruby. The free version of SketchUp also supports Ruby scripts, with workarounds for its import and export limitations.



SketchUp was developed by startup company Last Software of Boulder, Colorado, co-founded in 1999 by Brad Schell and Joe Esch.

SketchUp debuted in August 2000 as a general-purpose 3D content creation tool, and was envisioned as a software program "that would allow design professionals to draw the way they want by emulating the feel and freedom of working with pen and paper in a simple and elegant interface, that would be fun to use and easy to learn, and that would be used by designers to play with their designs in a way that is not possible with traditional design software. It also has user friendly buttons to make it easier to use."

The program won a Community Choice Award at its first tradeshow in 2000.

On June 8 2005, Google announced Google SketchUp, a free downloadable version of SketchUp, without some functionality of SketchUp Pro, but including integrated tools for uploading content to Google Earth and to the Google 3D Warehouse. A toolbox enables a viewer to "walk around" and see things from different viewpoints, and supports labels for models, a look-around tool, and an "any polygon" shape tool.

The free version of Google Sketchup can export 3D to .dae and Google Earth's .kmz file format. The Pro version extends exporting support to include the .3ds, .dwg, .dxf, .fbx, .obj, .xsi, and .wrl file formats.

Google SketchUp can also save elevations or renderings of the model, called "screenshots", as .bmp, .png, .jpg, .tif, with the Pro version also supporting .pdf, .eps, .epx, .dwg, and .dxf.

Neither is available in a native format for Linux, or Mac OS earlier than 10.5. Sketchup v.8 use under Wine has been rated "Gold".

Geolocation information is always stored in the KMZ file. The building designs themselves are saved in SKP.

This theoretical examination of the social phenomenon may be rationally applied in this study to explain why female residents in Macau hold more positive attitudes toward the establishment of casino gambling. These job opportunities originating from the gambling industry may provide some female residents with personal economic independence and considerable financial incomes. For instance, according to the statistical data shown in Table 8, the numbers of female employees in the gaming industry in the 2nd quarter of 2013 and 2014 were 42,979 and 46,810, respectively, which represent approximately 56.6% and 58.7% of the total employees in the gaming industry in Macau, but the crucial and respectable positions of managerial and professional stratums remain dominated by male employees. However, the gaming industry in Macau practically provides considerable opportunities for the female population to develop careers and receive financial support.

Unlike the extensive scope and amount of gaming industries in Macau, Singapore developed its industry of casino gambling within a very short period of time, which means that there are less job opportunities that have resulted in positive economic impacts in Singapore compared with Macau. However, as in most Chinese societies, the related sayings of “ten bet, nine lost” and “gambling will break a family and lead to the violent death of people” reflect the moral implications that the act of gambling may not only damage people's lives but also ruin whole families. After all, the traditional roles of women as housekeepers and child-minders are recognized as the most significant factor to interfere or discourage Singaporean women to carelessly pursue either full-time positions or higher managerial statuses (Lee, 1999). In other words, the social institution of family plays a very important role in the mind of Singaporean women, which may be why female residents in Singapore exhibit more negative attitudes toward casino gambling.

Regarding the facet of “Occupation”, all of the residents demonstrate differences in all of the positive and negative impacts of the social, economic, and environmental spheres (except Macau's residents demonstrate no noticeable differences in their attitudes toward “environmental impacts”). In their study of the influence of casino gambling developments on different occupations, Kong and Wan (2011) concluded that there are definite, different advantages and disadvantages in regard to the influence that the gaming industry has on various occupations. From the viewpoint of sociology, occupations represent the important social indicators that identify a person's hierarchical social status and reputation. Additionally, most people usually recognize people's social identities and group identifications due to the concept of “in-groups” and “out-groups” (Andersen & Taylor, 2008); thus, residents who work for the gaming industry are easily able to create “in-groups” and to commonly defend themselves against negative criticisms regarding the negative impacts of casino gambling. Therefore, as this research study implies, the fact that residents with various occupations develop different perceptions toward the impacts of casino gambling establishments is quite reasonable. In regard to their examination of why Macau residents with different occupations do not have significantly different perceptions toward “environmental impacts”, the researchers of this study suggest that, because the gaming industry has been rooted in Macau for a long time, all of its main infrastructures and construction have been completed, and most residents have accommodated to their surrounding environments. In contrast, because the development of casino gambling in Singapore recently took place, many residents, regardless of their occupation, appreciate that the positive impacts of casino gambling are related to leisure/recreational infrastructures and magnificent night scenery (see its rank in Table 5) and suffer from the negative impacts of casino gambling related to pollution and traffic inconvenience during its construction period.

The results shown in Table 9 and Table 10 indicate that Macau's and Singapore's residents with differences in “Age” and “Marital status” hold completely opposite perceptions toward the impacts of casino gambling operations. In terms of “Educational background” and “Monthly income”, the residents of these two areas express similar viewpoints toward the impacts of casino gambling. In regard to “Residence time”, the outcome of the statistical analysis shows there are slight differences between the residents from these two areas.

1. The understanding and promotion of the ethical values common to humanity, with an attitude of tolerance and respect for the diversity of religious, philosophical and moral beliefs, are both the foundation and the consequence of responsible tourism; stakeholders in tourism development and tourists themselves should observe the social and cultural traditions and practices of all peoples, including those of minorities and indigenous peoples and to recognize their worth;

2. Tourism activities should be conducted in harmony with the attributes and traditions of the host regions and countries and in respect for their laws, practices and customs;

3. The host communities, on the one hand, and local professionals, on the other, should acquaint themselves with and respect the tourists who visit them and find out about their lifestyles, tastes and expectations; the education and training imparted to professionals contribute to a hospitable welcome;

4. It is the task of the public authorities to provide protection for tourists and visitors and their belongings; they must pay particular attention to the safety of foreign tourists owing to the particular vulnerability they may have; they should facilitate the introduction of specific means of information, prevention, security, insurance and assistance consistent with their needs; any attacks, assaults, kidnappings or threats against tourists or workers in the tourism industry, as well as the wilful destruction of tourism facilities or of elements of cultural or natural heritage should be severely condemned and punished in accordance with their respective national laws;

5. When travelling, tourists and visitors should not commit any criminal act or any act considered criminal by the laws of the country visited and abstain from any conduct felt to be offensive or injurious by the local populations, or likely to damage the local environment; they should refrain from all trafficking in illicit drugs, arms, antiques, protected species and products and substances that are dangerous or prohibited by national regulations;

6. Tourists and visitors have the responsibility to acquaint themselves, even before their departure, with the characteristics of the countries they are preparing to visit; they must be aware of the health and security risks inherent in any travel outside their usual environment and behave in such a way as to minimize those risks.

As the 2015 calendar year comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back on the amusement park industry and be reminded of the biggest stories from the last 12 months.
Between the news of the industry as a whole thriving, the morale amongst those who work in the theme park field climbing and those who visit the facilities coming back year after year, there is a buzz surrounding theme parks heading into 2016.
Add in the hype surrounding Twentieth Century Fox’s announcement of plans for a theme park in Dubai and new attractions based on popular brands such as “Walking Dead” and “Hunger Games,” and it’s been an eventful year for amusement parks.

The Most Awesome Water Slide Ever is in Texas
Social media was a huge part of the success of the amusement park industry in 2015, and few attractions received as much traffic as The Royal Flush water slide at BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas.
Through an organic advertising campaign and a video that received over 29 million views on YouTube thus far—as seen above—The Royal Flush became one of the biggest attractions for 2015 with good reason.
With the longest of the three slides reaching over 100 feet long, guests are launched high into the air before landing in the awaiting pool. When the slide re-opens in 2016, anyone making their way across Texas should stop at BSR Cable Park.
Amusement Park Industry Thriving
Amusement parks are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States and abroad, with an estimated 260 million customers spending around $10 billion each year. In 2015, the industry found even more success than usual.
Thanks to a renewed focus on building new attractions that makes customers want to return every year, many parks saw a major boom this year. While it had been a strain on theme parks to build new, high-priced steel roller coasters, more and more facilities are adding the must-visit rides.
There were also outside factors at work, like favorable weather and low gas prices, but the organic movement from within the industry to focus on better advertising for the newest and biggest attractions has helped spur a resurgence.
The hope from many within the amusement park business is that the success from this year carries over into 2016.
“Walking Dead” and “Hunger Games” Developing Attractions
In television and on the big screen, the “Walking Dead” and “Hunger Games” brands are two of the most popular, and now theme park guests will be able to live vicariously through their favorite characters in new planned attractions.

For those who love the thrills of the zombie-based TV show “The Walking Dead,” amusement park ride company Sally Corp. unveiled its latest project, "The Walking Dead: Battle for Survival" at the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo.
While it’s unclear which theme park chain will add the attractions, the excitement is already building for their eventual debuts.
On the other hand, the anticipation is through the roof for the amusement park rendition of the “Hunger Games” movie franchise.
Lions Gate Entertainment announced it will join forces with AVATRON USA Development to build a 700-acre entertainment complex featuring a “Hunger Games” theme park. It’s a good time to be a fan of amusement parks and pop culture.

Fox Building a Theme Park in Dubai
In November, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Al Ahli Holding Group made the announcement that the companies had plans to build a Fox-branded theme park and resort in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The project will be the second 20th Century Fox World theme park and the first Fox-branded resort, but the deal is much bigger than just that. The contract allows for a roll-out of up to three additional Fox-branded resorts outside Dubai.
Some of the brands expected to fill the new amusement park include “Ice Age,” “Rio,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Aliens,” “Predator,” “Night at the Museum,” “Titanic,” “The Simpsons” and “Sons of Anarchy.”
While the park won’t open until 2018, travelers planning on visiting United Arab Emirates can enjoy the Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi, as long as they’re willing to take their taxi driver on the rides with them.
A Bounty of New Roller Coasters in 2015
Looking back, 2015 can be classified as the year of the roller coaster in the amusement park industry.
During the year, the Fury 325 at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina; the Thunderbird at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana; the Impulse at Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania; and Cannibal at Lagoon Park in Farmington, Utah, all made their debut to the roller-coaster crazy travelers.

Looking forward to 2016, there are even more amazing rides coming. Some of the top roller coasters to watch for this year include the Lightning Rod at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; the Valravn at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio; and a plethora of new coaster thanks to the Six Flags parks across the United States.
After a bountiful year for the amusement park industry, it’s time to look ahead to the fun in 2016.

THERE was a time when jihadist groups posed the only armed threat to Egypt’s tourists. But on September 14th, the country’s security forces killed 12 people in a tourist convoy, eight of them Mexican holiday-makers, in the country’s Western desert. Another 10 were wounded.

Considerable confusion about what happened remains. Egypt’s minister of the interior said that the tourists had strayed into a military zone, and were mistaken for weapons smugglers by a joint police and army operation. The tour company said that although the convoy was off-road they had a police escort and prior permission. The tourists had stopped for a meal when they were struck from the air.

Regardless of exactly what happened, the roots of the tragedy lie firmly in Egypt’s worsening security problems and the edginess they engender. As President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi intensifies his war on Egypt’s multiple Islamist groups, civilians are increasingly being caught in the crossfire. The fighting has raged most fiercely in Sinai to the east, where the government is trying to suppress a Bedouin revolt led by jihadist groups including a local affiliate of Islamic State (IS).