Tom Taulli of Motley Fool figures out some reasons for Google buying SketchUp:
SketchUp offers a variety of monetization opportunities:
* Through Google, users have an easy way to advertise for local contractors and materials if they're designing a house using the program.
* Thinking even bigger, Google itself could use the software to develop navigation systems.
* Or even build games -- say, an alternative to a flight simulator.
* And Google's extensive mindshare in the mapping world affords it the luxury of being able to sell premium versions of SketchUp.
I like those reasons a whole lot better than @Last Software's it-just-felt-good reason.