Importing high-quality aerial photos & topography from 3rd parties?

I’m finding the default sketchup aerial photos very poor quality and the Nearmap coverage isn’t great in my area (I also tried Placemaker but that wasn’t very useful).

In New Zealand, we have very high quality (and free) aerial photos and such, courtesy of the government and our space program.

Could we import this using a customised SketchUp extension? There’s info about APIs and things I don’t understand.
“WGS84 Web Mercator Quad (EPSG:3857)” sounds promising.

This also includes some fantastic resources via OpenTopography and other datasets (high-resolution contours & lidar points/mesh, building outlines, streets (with kerbs and footpaths), watercourse, soil, etc). It’s all free or “creative commons” licensed.

I have a hard time figuring out an efficient and accurate way to import this sort of GIS/topo data. Is there a trick to it?

What would be a good example address to compare?

There is no trick, it’s hard work. We have a simular system (PDOK) you download a massive zip file, have to install tons of programs, select what you want convert into shape files and then import them.
That’s only the topo part.
You have to be a programmer to like these kind of workflows.

They use CityJson in our parts, here’s a list of software(plugins)

I believe Modulur deals with this stuff, too.

I did a test where I found an area not covered by Nearmap, and I did an add location with Digital Globe, then replaced the center part with an image from that web page. There isn’t much differences in quality. The attached SKP shows the modified image, but also the original Digital Globe image.

nztest.skp (2.9 MB)

Helensville, for example. Has no nearmap coverage and Level 18 isnt great.

When I saw the term “API” i thought there might be an automatic way of importing stuff, same as Digitalglobe imagary.

For the Dutchies, you can now (since nov 2021) download 7,5cm aerial pictures from PDOK. You need GIS software for easy access - I use Qgis.

idd, those gml files from pdok are very user unfriendly :confused:

Dat zal de Catharina kerk zijn!

Je kunt ook in Qgis de 3D buildings laag selecteren en als .shp file downloaden.
Deze vervolgens weer in SketchUp met de spirix extension importeren.

It’s exactly the same with the Finnish National Survey free data. There is a commercial venture that does it for a fee so you can download a topo as a dxf, for instance.

It is the Catharina church indeed.

Edit: can you mention the actual name for this 3d buildings layer? In the PDOK plugin I don’t see anything 3d.

In Qgis, I normally also add the kadaster layers and also drag into Qgis the GML file with the zoning rules from At the end everything is exported as dxf to SketchUp.

Not on a desktop now, check this post:

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