Come on, Dursley! Briton who modelled home town in 3D reaches Google contest final

A British pensioner has reached the final of an international Google competition by making a virtual 3D model of his entire home town.

Retired architect John Wilkes, 63, spent more than1,000 hours reproducing 197 buildings in Dursley, Gloucestershire, using computer software called Sketchup.

His intricate re-constructions include St James' Church, the Dursley town council building, raised market house, shops and his own home.

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The real thing: Mr Wilkes spent more than1,000 hours reproducing 197 buildings in Dursley using special computer software

Mr Wilkes beat 500 other international entrants - including many teams including several people - to reach the final of Google's Model Your Town competition.

The modelling enthusiast is now competing against four teams from Florida, Germany, Peru and Spain to win £6,500 for his local school.


He said: 'I'm flying the British flag in the final but it has been a lot of work and I have spent well over 1,000 hours.

'I've now modelled virtually the whole town of Dursley on Google Earth, which includes 197 separate buildings in very high detail.

'I only started this off as a hobby when I was out of work but now naturally I'm hoping I can win the competition.

'However, the mayor of the town involved in the Florida entry has been campaigning to get votes so that's a little ominous.'

Mr Wilkes began modelling Dursley using special 3D software in February 2009 after the recession left him without work as an architect.

Then in the autumn Google announced it was holding a Model Your Town competition and Mr Wilkes decided to enter.

The competition will be decided by a public vote, which ends on May 1, before the winner is announced on May 15.

Anyone who wants to vote for Mr Wilkes' entry should visit

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