How to orient a model for shadows



I am trying to orient my model for accurate shadows - I took a image from google maps and scanned it and imported it into sketchup, then drew my model on the image. Now, I decided I need shadows. When I geolocate the model it puts in a google earth image partially over the model I already drew. I guess, I should have geolocated it before I drew it. But that’s not helpful with my existing model.

How can I geolocate the existing model? Enter it manually? G


move your model up?

an image would be helpful…


Sure you can, if you know the Lat & Long.
There is a “Set Manual Location…” button at the bottom-right on the “Geographic Location” tab, of the “ModelInfo” dialog.

… or you could just explode & delete the image imported from the “Add Location…” feature. The “GeoReference” attribute dictionary should still be attached to the model.

(You can check with an attribute viewer plugin like Aerilius’ Attribute Inspector.)


Sounds like you have geolocated the model correctly and only need to reposition your object?


The description of your workflow isn’t enough to work with.
If you’ll share the model, we can help you get on the right track.


I did the manual location that was suggested, and the shadows seem to be correct. But, in the interest of science - here’s the model. It’s very minimal because we want to determine if the shade sails will block off the sun from the windows, the patio in the morning, and the office in the afternoon.

So, don’t laugh too much at my model.

site plan A alt skp.skp (390.9 KB)


Hi Gerret,

As long as the dimensions are reasonably correct, it’s all you need to prove whether the shades will work.

Here’s a copy of the model.
I replace your ‘paper’ copy of Google Earth with a proper image exported from Google Earth.

Altadena Site Plan.skp (622.3 KB)

I also set the UTC Offset to your correct local time.
Current local time in Altadena is UTC-7 UTC … not -8
Handy time reference site:


Wow. How did you swap out the paper copy? Actually, since I do this a lot, how did you import the Google Earth image? I usually do something like print a house & property out from Google maps, scan it and save it, then import it. I don’t know where you live, but sometimes I go to ZIMAS at ( a zoning page at the LA building department ) and print & scan etc. theirs because it shows the property lines, lot dimensions which is very useful.
If I could skip the whole print, and scan rigmarole it would be handy to know how to do that.



In Google Earth
Navigate to the location.
Hit the R key to insure the camera is looking straight down and north is straight up.
Then click… File > Save > Save Image

After you save the image, simply drag and drop the image file into the SketchUp model space.
Then scale the image to real world size; provided you know the length of some entity in the image.