Import from Open Topography


I would like to know how to import Point Cloud data from Open Topography into Sketchup.

Here is the extract with an indication of what is available:
" DEM Generation

TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network)

The TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network) interpolation algorithm offered by OpenTopography is an implementation of Martin Isenburg’s high-performance code for generating raster digital elevation models (DEMs) from mass points via streaming Delaunay triangulation. A TIN model represents the landscape as a surface composed of contiguous and non-overlapping triangles constructed between the cloud of lidar returns. Within each triangle the surface is represented by a plane. A raster DEM is then constructed by sampling the triangulated surface elevation at the DEM nodes. More information on Isenburg’s streaming TIN is available at: TIN-based DEM generation is offered as part of the [LAStools suite] developed by Isenburg.

Local Gridding

This local binning algorithm utilizes the elevation information from lidar returns contained within a circular search area (radius defined by the user) to calculate the DEM elevation at each grid cell (resolution specified by the user). Five values can be computed for each node in a grid: 1) the minimum, 2) maximum, 3) mean, and 4) inverse distance weighted (idw) mean of the local points, and 5) the number of points in the search area. If the number of points in the search radius is 0, the grid node is assigned a null value. The null filling option uses a moving window of 3, 5, or 7 pixels if chosen by the user to fill null pixels that in the grid. This algorithm was initial developed by OpenTopography as [Points2Grid] The algorithm has since been integrated into the open source [Point Data Abstraction Library (PDAL)] as writers.gdal which is the implementation OpenTopography is using."

I really appreciate any tips.

Thank you


What version of SketchUp are you actually using? Your profile indicates the web version of SketchUp 8 which is impossible.

1 Like

SketchUp User Guide (for Desktop editions): Importing DEM Files for Terrain


On Sketchup 8 (Desktop/Mac). thanks DaveR
Dan thanks for the link. I did learn from that that I was using the wrong file type.
So I tried a conversion from GeoTiff to USGS DEM at
However after unzipping the download from that(a *,dem file and trying to import that - still no luck.
About 130,000 points. Maybe its too big?

I have also tried on a Sketchup 2019 Trial on a PC - same problem => bugsplat.