How to make topography from points




I received a cad survey of a property with points all over the place. Each point has its height based on sea level written beside it. So for example the highest point in the drawing is marked with an X, and the number height of 199.576 beside it.

I want to model the property in Sketchup Pro, is there as way that I can enter these points along with their height in order to generate a mesh like object?



Yes. You could create a text file containing the coordinates for the points and use an importer to create a point cloud. There are extensions to then connect the points to form a mesh. You should reduce the coordinates such that the lowest point is at z=0 and the coordinates are relative to that one. The front left corner of the plot as you look north should have x and y equal to 0 to keep that corner near the origin.

Search the Extension Warehouse for point cloud importers or Sketchucation. TopoShaper would be a good start.


TopoShaper by Fredo6


Most likely you can import the points directly into SU, provided you properly prepare the CAD file prior to import, or are adept at cleaning it up after import.

Importing and Exporting CAD Files — SketchUp Help


I would like to make a topography from survey points from a CAD file but toposhaper is not recognising the guidepoints.
Very frustrating!
Entity info is saying it’s guidepoints but toposhaper is not recognising them.


Try running Toposhaper with the Ruby Console open. Do you get any messages? If yes, copy the entire message and share it here.


Hi Dave!

Oh you are a lifesaver! This is driving me crazy.

Ruby console isn’t really helping me here - i’m not good with code.

I’m attaching the sketchup file here with the survey guidelines in place.

Any pointers you could give me would be infinitely appreciated - i’m trying to hone my sketchup skills.

Thanks again,


(i’m not sure if this will appear on the forum)

Topo.skp (854 KB)


Oh you mean messages from sketchup?
Missed that.

It says ‘Selection does not contain Guide Points’.



Hi Caz
Its all to do with your grouping and hidden layers. There was other hidden geometry in with all the guidepoints etc
I exploded the points and the clipping face and grouped them together, moved them back on to the origin.
Some of the points were below the clipping plane so you will need to look but it seems to work fine.



There are multiple problems with your file. You have guidepoints in multiple components. They all need to be in one component or group, not nested.

I notice you are using Layers incorrectly, too. You should be leaving Layer 0 active at all times and all edges and faces should remain on Layer 0. You’ve associated raw geometry with layers other than Layer 0. Doing so does not separate the geometry. In short, your model is kind of a mess.

I cut the guide points out, exploded their components and put them in a single component. Then I ran Topshaper and got the following:

I didn’t put the rectangle into the group so it doesn’t have any impact on the geometry.


It worked!
Thanks to all involved for teaching me something new (and looking at my messy file).
I’ve never used a forum before - great help.
Hopefully will help others as well!