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SketchUp in digital archives. Software and file format analysis and exploration of the options for digital preservation.

Vanstappen, Henk

Publication: SketchUp in digital archives

The 3D drawing software SketchUp can be found in many architectural firms. Architects use it to test their first design ideas, but also to support the further elaboration and execution of an architectural project. Moreover, 3D models are very accessible and readable for a non-architectural audience.

The Flanders Architecture Institute therefore wants to focus on preserving this valuable digital heritage of the future. In the report 'SketchUp in digital archives', researcher Henk Vanstappen (Datable) analyzes the SketchUp software down to the smallest details.

The report contains:

  • A history of the SketchUp software, its functionality and related tools;
  • An analysis of the SketchUp file format (logical model, internal structure and compatibility with other formats)
  • Possible risks and vulnerabilities for preservation of SketchUp files
    on the long term

Additionally, this project resulted in an enhanced capacity for archivists to identify the version of a SketchUp-file (version 1-19), by adding the file signature of each SketchUp version to the Pronom technical registry.

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