Geo-location - Add Location Not Creating Terrain Layer

I would like to create a model that is embedded in a specific terrain. (I am not a professional or making any money at this - I’m just a hobbyist with creative ideas to flesh out.)

I was looking at this old post: Making topography, and I saw the following statements:

Use the File > Geo-location > Add Location command, which allows you to identify a specific locale on Google Earth that you’d like to “bring in” to SU.

SU creates two new layers in your model, one called Google Earth Snapshot and the other called Google Earth Terrain. The former contains a flat photograph, like the view in Google Earth, painted on a face; the latter contains the same photo, except painted on a contoured surface (TIN) representing the actual topography. You can toggle the display between them by checking or unchecking File > Geo-location > Show Terrain, or you can control the layers directly through the Layers dialog.

When I open the Default Tray (I am using SU Make 2017) and look at the Layers, I see only Layer0 and “Location Snapshot”. Layer0 appears to be empty, and Location Snapshot does not contain any terrain/topographical information.

I would love to get this working, but I can’t really afford to put money into this right now. Any ideas?

If I remember correctly, after google stopped supplying the data the Terrain was dropped from the Make version.

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Box is correct. Terrain data and imagery is not included in SketchUp Make. You’d need Pro for that.

If you don’t want to spend any money for this, maybe you can find a survey document with contour lines. You could make a screen shot of it and import the image. Then you could trace the edges with the Line or Freehand tool to make contours as geometry.

That thing you reference is quite old because Google Earth hasn’t been used as a source of terrain data or imagery in 10 years or more.

I’m not surprised by the answer, but I’m disappointed that they distributed SU Make 2017 with a feature that they knew hadn’t been working for years… and left it to us to figure it out the hard way!

As a software developer myself, I’d call that a fail.

… maybe you can find a survey document with contour lines. You could make a screen shot of it and import the image. Then you could trace the edges with the Line or Freehand tool to make contours as geometry.

That’s what I had planned to do, but when I became overwhelmed at the hours I would need to spend on this (just to get to the starting point for my idea), I went to the forum, looking for a better way, and thought I had found it. There went 4 hours of my holiday weekend…

The survey documents (jpg) from USGS and from Trimble (MyTopo) are not great quality for tracing, unfortunately… USGS offers kmz files, which I had hoped would have nice contour lines, but SU Make 2017 won’t load them…

2017 Make still geolocates, it gives you the snapshot, but since Trimble now need to pay for the Data that Google had been supplying free, the Terrain data became a pro feature. So they didn’t distribute anything that wasn’t working.

You misunderstand completely. SketchUp quit using Google EARTH terrain data and imagery while SketchUp was still a Google Product. They switched to using Google Maps which included color imagery not the black and white imagery that came from Google Earth. Your model shows the black and white imagery that came from Google EARTH. It’s even dated 2007!

The Geo-location feature was still functional after the change to the Maps API. They didn’t distribute something that wasn’t working and they didn’t leave you to find out anything the hard way. The removal of terrain data and imagery from SketchUp 2017 Make was announced in March of 2017 and occurred a few months later. As Box indicated, when Trimble had to start paying for this content it became a Pro feature.

If the .kmz file doesn’t include a .dae file with the geometry for the contours, there wouldn’t be anything for SketchUp to import. Did you look at the contents of the .kmz file? It’s really only a zip file with a different extension.

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I’m not sure what makes you say that, Dave. And I’m not sure where you got the black and white image from. This is not what my model shows. Instead of black and white imagery, I get a map with no terrain data, and I’m hard-pressed to find any use for it:

Would anyone be pleased with this presentation of their model…?

I downloaded my version of SU Make 2017 in mid-April. I would have expected them to keep things working for a couple of months after the announcement for existing users of SU Make 2017. But for downloads after the announcement, I would have expected the menu item to be disabled, rather than provide something as useless and embarrassing as the image above. Even my copy of SU 8 has the Show Terrain menu item disabled, so it is possible.

I checked the .kmz file; there is no .dae in it, sadly…

Back to a prior suggestion…

Here is a comparison of the terrain image inside SU (on the left) and in Windows Photo Viewer (on the right), at pretty much the same magnification:

This is the magnification I would need in order to do the tracing. Notice that the image in Windows Photo Viewer is of medium quality, and would be a challenge to trace; whereas the same image imported into SU is of very poor quality and is nearly impossible to trace.

I was hoping for another workflow that would make it possible to realize my idea, but so far, there have been no workable suggestions. I had hoped to spend some time on this over my holiday weekend, but instead I wasted my time fighting with SU with nothing to show for it.