Hi Jason, I can appreciate your disappointment as this new impacts part of your business. Regarding the API; yes the functionality of the API is planned to continue as is, so you'll be able to create and host 3D buildings this way.
On Wednesday, June 6, 2012 6:07:37 PM UTC-6, Jason Mill wrote:
I'm very disappointed for our clients who have paid to have beautiful handcrafted models at the humanistic street level and will see them replaced by crude aerial based auto gen models .. and now have no control of when/if/how their business will appear. I'm pleased our contracts stated could not gaurantee Google would not drop user generated 3D models in the future.
We've been in this game since 2004 and had only just solidified a good business model around our model assets and their use in GE .. luckily for us we had a feeling this move was coming and so have worked on delivering our model set via other mediums, including gaming engines and AR apps.
We also would like to see the functionality of the API and GE desktop maintained so that kml/kmz based data/models can be viewed in this way. Photo-realistic models are only the beginning of what can be visualised in GE.
Looking at the bigger picture this is a great move for tech in general although I expect a very similar eye candy based model from Apple next week .. Google had the market cornered on interactive user driven 3D models and its a shame they feel the need to dump it.
Had a ball while it lasted .. cheers to all the crew here in the 3DGEO community, I've enjoyed sharing with you all.