Google Buys SketchUp

Google continues to buy up tiny start-ups, building its software arsenal and adding to its engineering ranks. They have just snapped-up Sketch Up, a tiny six-year old start-up that makes some sort of 3D software. I have never heard of them, which is my bad, but apparently the Mac people think it is the shizzle. Here is company’s own take on the deal. (Can someone explain what Google will do with this?)
Update: Greg Sterling says its all about maps. “When you get rich 3-D mapping up and running on the Internet there are all kinds of use cases and ad opportunities. Think about real estate or hotels/travel as two immediate examples that come to mind,” he writes.
Update # 2: Looks like some of the readers were spot on. Google is now working with Volkswagen and developing 3D maps for car navigation systems.

The system, based on the Google Earth program, is expected to allow three dimensional depictions of routes, the newspaper says, quoting VW. The system is also expected to draw from online sources for real-time traffic and weather information to aid drivers.