Google is giving anybody the opportunity to become city architects with digital Legos.
In partnership with Lego, Google Australia has developed "Build With Chrome" -- or just "Build" -- which provides 8 billion blocks for users to construct virtual, 3-D buildings on virtual properties.
Wired explains how the project works:
Once you log in, you can start building on your virtual property with virtual Lego bricks. You can publish, but that’s something you want to do when you’re finished. Once published, you can’t delete your creation, and you consent to letting Lego and Google use it for promotional purposes. Advertise away, Lego. This is just cool.
You can claim any chunk nobody else has claimed, but hurry because it’s first come, first served.
Here are a couple examples of what the interface looks like:
Google Australia said on its blog that Build is a "collaborative 3-D building experience," which although it may seem simple to use, would not have been possible with the technology available only a few yeas ago:
It shows how far browser technology has come and how the web is an amazing platform for creativity. We made the bricks with WebGL, which enables powerful 3D graphics right in the browser and demonstrates the upper limit of current WebGL graphics performance. We then mixed in Google Maps (another Aussie invention) so you can put your creation in a LEGO world alongside everyone else’s.Right now Build is an experiment we’ve been working on in Sydney. We’re launching first in Australia and New Zealand and hope to open up in other countries soon. This year is the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick in Australia and Build joins the celebration of the LEGO Festival of Play online.
If you login to Build and find no plots available -- as of the time of this posting there were plenty -- you can at least check out the buildings made by others. As The Next Web puts it, "bye bye productivity," but at least you'll never waste your time looking around for that "missing 1-by-1 piece" anymore, GeekOSystem pointed out.
Watch Google's demo of the project:
Start building here.