Can I drop a model of the Burj Khalifa into downtown Los Angeles in Google Earth anymore?

Can I drop a model of the Burj Khalifa into downtown Los Angeles in Google Earth anymore?

This is only for fun, I’ve done it in the past, but coming back to Google products to give Google another try, they’re still complicated and don’t do what they used to do.

Several versions ago, I could grab a piece of map from Google Earth, say, downtown Los Angeles. I could open that piece of map up in Google Sketchup, and add buildings from 3D warehouse, say, I could add the Burj Khalifa and the Empire State Building, and every building in Hong Kong – I could add them in what I could tell were vacant lots and parking lots.

Then I could upload back to Google Earth. My local copy would think for a moment, and re-render downtown los angeles, and now downtown LA’s tallest buildign was the Burj. Also all the buildings in China, and other buildings I liked.

It was using Google Earth and Google Sketchup to make fantasy downtowns It did not show up in the “official” Google earth, mjeaning, all of you couldn’t see that the Burj was now suddenly in LA and not Dubai. Just could only see it on my local copy.

This is a hobby / pass the time / just for fun thing I did for several years.

How can I do it now. Everything has changed and I can’t just download a section of a map from Google Earth into Sketchup, add a buinch of buildings, and then re-upload to my copy of Google Earth.


SketchUp has switched to the Google Maps interface for grabbing the terrain. It works directly from inside SketchUp (Window menu>Model Info>Geolocation). You can still view your model inside Google Earth if you export it to the KMZ file format and open that in Google Earth.


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Google sold SketchUp to Trimble in April 2012 and subsequently dropped the facility to upload SketchUp models to online Google Earth. As Anssi has said, all you can do anymore is view your model in a local run of Google Earth by exporting a KMZ and opening the file via GE. Sorry!

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This works without flaw. Thank you. For me, next time I forget and ask again:

First you go to Sketchup and grab the geolocation of, say, downtown LA.

Then you plop down buildings, say, you plop down the Empire State Building on some obvious parking lot.

Then you don’t “save” as skp. You export as kmz file. Good to have that saved on your local file. Also you can probably come back to it if you don’t like how it’s set up.

Then you open Google Earth, File/Open your .kmz file (s) and they will load into your local copy. And now the Empire State Building and the Burj and the Eiffel Tower are now all in downtown LA, where you placed them. If you don’t like the circullar-ish building that’s currently the tallest in LA, then you can plop the Burj right on top of it and it won’t appear in your local scene.

And it’s in 3d,