Google is launching their version of Sim City today, Google Building Maker. The tool lets you create buildings for Google Earth. Building Maker lets you pick any building and construct a 3D version of it using photos and building blocks provided by Google. Google says that buildings are relatively fast to construct using their tool, taking only a matter of minutes.
Building Maker runs within your web browser and connect with your Google Account so you can get credit for your building. You can also use Google SketchUp to edit or modify your creation.
When your building is finished, you submit it to Google, where it will be deposited in a giant 3D warehouse. If yours is the best version of the building, Google will add it to the 3D building layer in Google Earth. Google Building Maker, which is available in 14 languages, lets you make buildings in only 50 cities at the moment, but will be rolling out the feature to other cities in the future.
While Building Maker is definitely a fun tool, Google gets some benefit out of this. They are crowdsourcing building making to their users, in addition to doing this internally. Google is also crowdsourcing to help update Google Maps, letting users report changes to a particular location, destination or roads.