Geolocated Aerial Imagery location vs CAD/Shapefiles

Hello - I’ve been thrilled with the quality of the aerial imagery I’ve been able to import from MapBox and NearMap through Placemaker, however I have been disappointed to find they don’t line up with .DXF or .DWG files (generated from GIS Shapefiles) I’ve imported into SketchUp. I assumed the .Dwg files are located correctly geospatially because I check off the box “Preserve Drawing Origin” when I import into SketchUp and they are located correctly in the original GIS/Shapefiles (which are correct before saving as .dwg or .dxf files).

When I import the .Dwg file in SketchUp it places it way out in space far from the axes/origin, so I assumed it was geolocating it correctly. However when I bring the aerial imagery in it is located right at the origin, and no where close to the .dwg line work.

What’s the best way to get aerial imagery and CAD linework to line up. I hate doing it manually as it never seems to line up or scale close enough.

Thanks for any advice on this!

The problem is the proliferation of different coordinate systems. SketchUp geolocation uses a system that is common with, for instance, Google Earth, and survey maps use other coordinate systems. The difference varies between locations.

Thanks Ansii, great suggestion. After looking into this it appears SketchUp uses WGS 84, and I think I might be in NAD 83. I’ll try and make the conversion in ArcMap before I save as CAD files (.dwg files). Hopefully that works. I should have thought of this because the Modelur extension allows import of GIS shapefiles, but they must be in the WGS 84 coordinate system.

Just a quick update, even with considering the coordinate system I still can’t get the imported CAD data to come lined up with the geolocated aerial imagery.

This is what I tried. In GIS ArcMap I converted my coordinate system from NAD83 to WGS 84. I then exported those shapefiles into CAD data (.dwg. files). In SktechUp I geolocated a portion of the city I’m working in (which comes in close to the axes)…then imported the CAD, which ended being placed way out in space.

Any other ideas?

When you import a DWG/DXF file, your options as to its placement are either with the geometry centered around the SketchUp model origin or with the origin points aligned. In the latter case, files using map coordinates get placed impractically far. SketchUp doesn’t work reliably with geometry that is more than a couple of kilometers from the origin. Unfortunately there is no import option that aligns the import with the geolocation origin.

Thank you for clarifying that Anssi