ESRI already supports interoperability with a variety of 3D model formats, such as Google SketchUp, 3D Studio, Openflight, and Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML). Adding support for the COLLADA file format will further its interoperability with Google Earth and Google SketchUp, which have popularized COLLADA's use.
COLLADA files can be used as 3D point symbology in ArcGlobe and ArcScene, two desktop applications in the ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension. Features symbolized using COLLADA files can also be served via the ArcGIS Server 3D extension. In addition, users can import COLLADA files into the geodatabase as multipatch features and directly display them in ArcGlobe if they are embedded inside KML files.
ArcGIS 9.3 is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2008. Learn more about what is coming in ArcGIS 9.3 software at www.esri.com/whatscoming.