Google Earth Geolocation with SketchUp Make 2017

Can I use Google Earth tools (and if so, how do I activate this specific tool on the head tool bar) to geo-locate my models in Google Earth using SketchUp Make 2017?

Are you trying to open your models in Google Earth or just trying to geo-locate them?

If you are trying to open your models in Google Earth you can export your models as a .kmz file.
(File > Export > 3D Model)

If you are trying to just geo-locate your model: File > Geo-location > Add Location

You haven’t been able to do geo-location from Google Earth for many versions of SketchUp. The last Google geo-location used google Maps. But since Spring of this past year, the only geo-location option for SketchUp 2017 Make is maps. No terrain and no imagery. You need at least SketchUp 2017 Pro to get imagery and terrain.

I haven’t tried yet. I was just exploring the topic and viewing help
tutorial video’s on YouTube. The demos that I watched showed a Google
Earth tool icon on the header tool bar that doesn’t appear on my version
of SketchUp. Maybe I haven’t enabled it? Furthermore, I haven’t
downloaded Google Earth yet either.

Ultimately, what I’d like to be able to do is insert (or overlay?) a
preliminary house model that I am working on in SketchUp onto a piece of
property (viewed in either Google Earth or SketchUp) that I have located
on Google Maps in order to study how the proposed building fits into the
environment and what might be the best compass orientation for the
structure. Can this be done using the free version of SketchUp Make 2017?

Thanks for your reply,


As @DaveR mentioned you cannot bring in terrain without SketchUp Pro. You still might be able to export a .kmz file with SketchUp Make and import it into Google Earth, although it is hard to fine tune the location of your model and the views in Google Earth.

Most likely it’s because you are looking at old tutorials.

You can’t import an image from Google Earth or Maps into SketchUp 2017 Make. You could geo-locate the house using the map view and rotate the house in the model space as desired. Then export a KMZ file which you could open in Google Earth. If you don’t like the orientation you can rotate the model in Sketchup and export again.

There’s no real way to account for terrain so you’ll have to play around with the Z position of the model to make sure it shows correctly in GE.

Is what you are referring to what this tutorial video is illustrating?

When you geo-locate a model does SketchUp automatically scale to the
model to match the scale of the map area that you “grab” and bring into
the model workspace?

Yep. That’s an old tutorial. It is outdated and the information isn’t correct. As I said, you can not pull in the imagery like he shows in that video if you are using SketchUp Make. And it is no longer Google Maps.

You can still export the file to be opened in Google Earth like I already told you.

@DaveR What do you mean by “the only geo-location option for SketchUp 2017 Make is maps”? Can you measure map locations? Can we overlay a screenshot from Google Maps on top of the map to recreate any of the Geo-locate abilities?

Have you tried using the Location tool in SU2017 Make? Try it to see for yourself what you get.

As for using an image taken from Google Earth, read their terms of use. They are restrictive. If you need help understanding the terms it would be best to get legal counsel.

If I understand Google’s terms right it is OK as long as you don’t show the result to anyone, and using it commercially is absolutely forbidden.

While institutions like national land surveys (for instance in the North European countries) are increasingly giving away their data free to anyone, it seems to me that Google keeps sitting jealously on the data they have collected (probably at least partly from the same free sources).


And of course using SketchUp Make commercially is forbidden.

Thanks @DaveR, that’s good to know!

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