I think adding some categories like “automotive, art, and architecture” would be helpful in sorting through the seemingly endless models in the 3D warehouse. There’s so much cool stuff out there, but I am limited by my search terms to discover new things. Imagine being able to go to the architecture category while drawing a house. It could have subcategories like furniture, windows, etc, then it could remind you of the things you need & you’d have a nice selection of components to choose from. Although, I think categories without subcategories would be enough. Subcategories would just add a little extra depth to my view of the amount of models in the 3D Warehouse…
Setting aside (for the moment) the base idea and assuming I agreed with the idea of categorization (I don’t), not having subcategories - and sub-subcategories ad nauseum would be insane! Consider for a moment the range of models found in the 3DWarehouse - here’s what I found with just a few keywords (with # of model hits):
Bong - 184
Screw - 32,976
Bollard - 754
Bollard Light - 156
Lego - 4,311
Painting - 18,780
Grass - 5,266
Button - 3,660
The universe of things that can be categorized with one or two words is immense! How would this be presented? A really long scrolling list? Alphabetically? A search page just to find a category?
Now on to why I think categories are a bad idea:
Consider the universe of “things manufacturers make”. This already has a categorization scheme of 2, 4, 6, and 8 digit numbers called the UNSPSC®. It is formed XXYYZZAA where increasing length is increasing specificity. So even WITH subcategorization, you’ll have up to 100 choices at each level (10 million if you don’t subcategorize!).
And this ignores things that manufacturers don’t make! Add all wild animals, all insects that anyone has modeled. Spaceships.
I’m sorry. When I search the 3D Warehouse, I almost always have something in mind which suggests a keyword or two or three. If I don’t find exactly what I want, I look at something close - and what keywords are associated with it to suggest another keyword search. I can’t recall not finding what I need in 3 searches or less!! And it’s a lot less effort than paging through 3 or 4 levels of subcategorization, each level with (potentially) 100+ choices.
I can sympathize with the desire to discover what might be in the warehouse that you haven’t considered ever looking for. It’s neat to explore! To that end, I could easily support browseable pages of:
A random selection of new uploads
A random selection of models with fewer than 3 keywords
A random selection of popular downloads
with each page having 10-20 models.
Interesting REPLY to Forestr!
I saw info on an extension that I was interested in and had a problem trying to find it.
I found that I could select a broad area of “Woodworking” and there could be a LOT of info contained in that one area. But it cuts out some of the non-essentials of what you are looking for.
I could not find what I was looking for there, but leaving the authors name off of the Search produced a page of Extensions - so I got busy browsing down through the list and noted that the Extensions were in alpha order by Name, NOT by Author.
SO, just by browsing through lists you pick up a lot of knowledge about HOW TO SEARCH for what you are seeking.
Found the Extension I was looking for and read the instructions for either downloading and installing Manually - OR - opening SketchUp and letting the software install it automatically (your best bet on any software package), and got a very quick install.
Hang in there Forestr! Read instructions on pages. Use alternative search words - just as doing any search on the Internet. At some point in time when you are searching, I’ll guarantee you that you will run across something in SketchUp that will be a revelation to you, possibly setting you onto another path!
Oh, I understood what area he was talking about. But, his concern was about the quantity of file items he had to wade through in his searches trying to find what he wanted.
My explanation was about any searching you have to do, sometimes even on the Internet in finding items you want and I had just come out of the Extension Warehouse where the experience was similar as far as the searching went.
Sometimes you just have to be patient. There is an old saying "All good things come to those who wait." (or have patience) and use various search techniques.
I like the idea of looking at a page of random models because it’d help me explore the 3D Warehouse. After seeing something I like, I could search for similar models.
Yeah, there really are seemingly infinite categories, but I was imagining something simpler than that… something like how Amazon.com categorizes stuff with a sidebar with about 26 main categories, then maybe 1-14 subcategories for each.