Importing Buildings FROM Google Earth, into SketchUp

I have looked at the tutorials online (or many of them) there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to Import models from Google Earth into SketchUp. Yes there are the individual models that you can find listed on the 3D Warehouse, but I am trying to create a 4-6 block area of new york. You used to be able to download one building in the 3D Warehouse and then others would come up with a notation, but that doesn’t seem to exist any longer.

Any thoughts or suggestions? There are several versions of Manhattan on the 3D warehouse, but they are not remotely accurate.

Google Earth no longer accepts nor use user-generated buildings. The old ones are still available through 3D warehouse, but I don’t know there’s an option to download a few blocks in one shot. Not to mention all the new construction in new york city that weren’t around a few years ago.
I think you may be stuck with using the old buildings from the 3d warehouse and filling in the blanks.

But is there a reason why you need a few blocks? If it’s just for visualization, you can make the building that you want to show, export as a kmz and load into google earth (privately on your computer) to generate an image of how it’ll look in the city.

Google earth doesn’t allow for the exact movement that I need. Camera Angles etc. The buildings I need are already in Google earth so it’s less about adding new buildings and more about extracting the ones that are there. I am working with a complicated VFX shot, so the more textured buildings I have the better. If the buildings are THERE in google earth… would they not also be in 3D warehouse… but it’s impossible to find say. The Grand Hyatt 109 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

I see your problem. I can’t explain why some buildings aren’t available anymore while others around it still are in the old legacy google earth. sorry

Were the buildings ever in 3dwarehouse? If you think they were, and have a model id, we could ask. Otherwise, good luck. There were other technologies Google used to put buildings into Google Earth. For example, 2009-2013 had Building Maker - see Google Lat Long: Introducing Google Building Maker and Google will be discontinuing the Building Maker tool - Google Earth Blog. There certainly are other options to Google Earth, and I’ve fwd’d this to other who will respond.

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Hi Dave

SketchUp is no longer owned by Google as of about June 2012. To my knowledge, Google no longer provides access to the the building “mesh” which you see today in google earth and maps. 3D Warehouse was migrated to Trimble infrastructure last year. When that happened, many of the Google-owned 3D buildings were not transferred to the new Trimble-owned 3D Warehouse.

You might be able to buy decent quality building models. I would check out or (note these are not textured).

Good Luck

So what Bryce is saying is that Trimble decided to disable this sort of thing because it competes with their business of selling such data via their marketplace. What a surprise.

No, what he is saying is that Google declined to let Trimble distribute Google’s proprietary models via Trimble’s 3D Warehouse.


I’ve been trying to import this mesh from Google Earth for years and have only seen options like this:

In this case they import the models for 3Dmax and then we would have to export to SketchUp, but it gave me laziness and I did not want to do a test … Hope that helps!

This is far to late for whatever you were working on when this post started, but for future reference 3d CAD browser ( has excellent models of several major cities, including NYC in several different formats and (relatively) reasonable subscription prices. I think the most expensive is 660.00 for 40 model downloads. They have a pretty exhaustive library. I also think you get downloads by uploading your own models.

I do a lot of previz in the New York Area and their NYC models have been a godsend for me. They have more detailed models of notable landmarks, (Empire State, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge &c.) if you need them, and I still raid 3d Warehouse on occasion, but having a good quality low poly city to be my background frees me up from having to force my composition to match an existing background photo of not always consistent quality.

While not a perfect solution, try CadMapper. It sources Open Street Map data and outputs it directly to SketchUp for you…up to 1 sqkm for free. Larger than that for small fee. See screenshot of what’s available in NYC in a half a sqkm area:

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Thanks Eric.