Google Build combines Maps with Lego bricks

Here's a collaboration you probably weren't expecting. Google Australia has teamed up with Lego to produce Build, a "collaborative 3D building experience" that lets folks craft Lego creations inside their browser window. To start, you select a 32 x 32 plot anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. You can then build your creation with up to a thousand basic blocks in a variety of colors. Check it out:

The interface is pretty slick, and I imagine hours of productivity will be lost as folks piece together virtual creations in their cubicles. In-progress builds can't be saved, so you'll need to be sure you're finished before submitting a scene for publication. There are some other rules, as well, but it looks like there's no limit on how many plots one can occupy.

Build is labeled as an experiment. Plots are only available in Australia and New Zealand right now, but Google hopes to bring it to other countries soon. (Anyone can use it now, though.) While not as satisfying as snapping together real bricks, Build is a neat showcase for what can be done within modern browsers. And, yes, it works in browsers other than Chrome. Thanks to The Verge for the tip.

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