San Francisco - Google on Tuesday began letting Lego lovers build with virtual colour blocks in its Chrome web browser and then give creations homes in online maps of the real world.

“There's something pretty amazing about being able to piece together your ideas with just a collection of colourful bricks,” Google product marketing manager Adrian Soghoian said in a blog post.

“Well, we think the creative freedom of Lego bricks shouldn't be limited to plastic bins - which is the idea behind Build with Chrome.”

The browser application was originally built as an experiment by a team in Australia, but was opened to the public on Tuesday in an apparent tie-in to The Lego Movie due out in February.

“More than one million builders have explored the new world of Lego creations downunder and published 66,000 builds, demonstrating the possibilities of the web as a creative canvas,” Google said at its official blog in Australia.

Versions of the Build application have also been tailored for Android-powered touchscreen smartphones or tablets with high-end graphics capabilities, according to Soghoian. - Sapa-AFP