Late to the show with regard to "add location"

So I have admittedly not needed the “add location” feature for a while (since may 2017 apparently) and didn’t know anything about that feature being removed from prior versions of sketchup before today. Today, of course, I needed this feature for a job. Much to my surprise, it doesn’t work anymore. Instead of getting a screen grab from Google earth, I got lead on a hours long expedition of discovery to find out I need to fork over $240 to get a feature I already paid for.

I’m sure someone will say; “well, you didn’t need the feature for over a year, so it must not be that big of a deal for you.”. The point is, I bought the software with the understanding that it had that feature. I expect to be able to start up the software and that feature should work as it did when I bought it. Finding out in the middle of a project that a tool you need and have used before is no longer available is a big problem.

To me, this is absolutely unacceptable. If you bought a car with a navigation system and then a year later the navigation system gets disabled because the maps provider changed their terms and the only solution is to buy a new car, would you be happy with that? Maybe I’m nuts, but a thing should work exactly the way it was advertised and sold to you. Otherwise it’s a material change to a contract. You purchased a thing that was sold with a set of features. You would expect that no matter what, those features will always be a part of that thing.

I can’t imagine what it would be like if everything worked this way. Sell people things and then just disable them a year later and try to get them to buy a new version. I know there’s some planned obsolescence in phones etc., but it’s not like apple just disables the text feature on a phone and tells you to buy a new phone.

Frankly I’m surprised there hasn’t been a class action lawsuit over this.

I refuse to pay more now. Purely out of principal. To do what they did in removing the add location feature with no offer to make it right is just evil in my opinion.


“SketchUp 2016 (Pro or Make) and older versions of SketchUp
At this time, there is no feasible way to update these versions of SketchUp to use the new geodata service. The Add Location and Photo Textures features will no longer function.”

Is a completely unacceptable “solution”.

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The absence of Google’s services has no effect upon Manual Geo-location in SketchUp 2016
Window > Model Info > Geo-location > Advanced Settings > Set Manual Location

There are plenty of public domain sources of HQ aerial imagery.
Try your State, County or City GIS websites.


13.12. Third-Party Software and Content
13.12.1. Third-Party Software

If designated in the Documentation, the Software may contain or be provided with certain Third-Party Software (including Open Source Software or other software which may be made available to you in source code form). Such Third-Party Software is not licensed hereunder and is licensed pursuant to the terms and conditions (“Third-Party License”) indicated in the Documentation, via a click through acceptance of terms and conditions, and/or on the Third-Party Software. Except as may be set forth in the Third-Party License, neither Trimble nor Trimble Suppliers offer any warranty in connection with any Third-Party Software and neither Trimble nor Trimble Suppliers shall be liable to you for such Third-Party Software.


Maybe I should have been more specific. What I need to function is the import of terrain and imagery for the location. What used to work when clicking the “add location” button. This feature works in SU 2017 with the DG data, but does not work in SU 2016.

My issue, is that I have no way of using that feature (pulling in terrain/imagery) as I’m not on the maintenance plan so I can’t upgrade to the latest version. I shouldn’t have to pay to use a feature I already paid for. I don’t care if the terrain/imagery comes from Google or Bob’s maps. I just need that feature to work in some form or another.

Trimble should offer a free upgrade to SU2017 for those, like me, who don’t have a maintenance plan and are stuck with software that no longer functions as advertised/sold. As of now, I have no resolution from Trimble. I’ve asked that they fix this, but haven’t heard anything back.

For 30 days, I can use the trial version of pro 2018 to pull in terrain and then save that down to 2016, but that work around will end and I’ll be left with no way of getting terrain data.

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Except that the “add location” feature was marketed to me as a benefit of buying SU pro. It’s not like it was left out of all the marketing material because it was just a 3rd party add on.


for example:

Google Earth terrain. Note: Two versions of the terrain image are imported: 2D and 3D, and you can toggle between them by clicking the “Toggle Terrain” button. The terrain images are for reference only, and are not included when you place your model in Google Earth. The image includes a reference to the latitude and longitude of the location in Google Earth, so it can be used for shadow studies, as well. Google Earth doesn’t export its own 3D buildings (the buildings that are displayed when you select the “Building” layer in Google Earth). That information is licensed and can’t be redistributed, so you can’t import those buildings into SketchUp.

Says nothing about it being a 3rd party plugin that might go away.

This is actually right before I bought SU pro for myself. I’d used it at a company I worked for for years prior though and importing GE terrain/imagery was always a selling point for buying pro.

Further, if you have to justify screwing customers by pointing to fine print in a contract and offer no remediation, then that’s a pretty crappy way to approach customer service.

which is no contradiction.

further info:
• SketchUp Help Center : FAQ for Add Location changes in SketchUp
• SketchUp Forum : Upcoming Change to Add Location

At this point I’ve read everything (including comments) on this subject.

My issue is really simple.

  • A feature in the software I bought is broken/unusable.
  • That feature is fixed (sort of) in the new version.
  • The only way I can get the “fix” is to pay more money for it.

That’s where I have a problem. If the feature was just gone for good and there was no way to get any semblance of it back, then so be it. My issue is that they created a solution but are trying to capitalize on the problem by forcing me to pay to get the fix.


regardless of your indignation you alternatively might want use an (admittedly commercial) extension instead:

• SketchUp Extension Warehouse : PlaceMaker
• SketchUp Extension Warehouse : Oob Terrain

In SU Pro 2016, one can still geo-locate the model and bring in aerial imagery from other sources.
The only missing element is the terrain model which lacks sufficient resolution for site specific terrain modeling.

Geo-locating the model via the Add Location feature is a poor choice if the purpose of the model is shadow analysis. Then again, you haven’t related what you’re trying to accomplish.

Focusing on the task at hand will help us help you get the job done.
No amount of conversation will change the functionality of outdated software.

So by your argument, Honda should upgrade my 2014 Odyssey’s safety features to the ones that are on the current model and do it for free.

That’s not my argument at all. I’m not talking about getting new features. Following your logic/analogy, this is more like Honda disabling the airbags in your Odyssey and then demanding you buy a new Odyssey to get them fixed. Sound fair?

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Except in the case of the Add Location feature, Trimble didn’t disable it. Google did.

Software companies don’t upgrade old versions of software.

As Geo said, you can waste time talking about it or get on with doing the work at hand.

While moot, I find it extremely suspect that there was absolutely no way for Trimble to work out an agreement with Google or find a technical solution. Further as I’ve read, Trimble knew about this from day one, yet only notified people via a forum and/or email just before pulling the plug. In my case, I had no idea this happened prior to yesterday.

It’s shocking that people are just ok with this. Some obvious Trimble cheerleaders here. Like I said initially, thank goodness this trend isn’t commonplace in all consumer products. I’ve been working with a huge variety of high end software, plugins and tools for about 30 years at this point and I have never seen anything like this before.

In this specific case, the goal was to quickly pull in an aerial/satellite image (to scale) to rough in a building mass for a study. Yes, I can screenshot a GE image, place it and scale it, but in this case I didn’t have a reference dimension for scale. I’m well adept at workarounds and solving software problems (I’ve already used the trial version in this case to pull in rough info). That’s not the point. It’s jarring to run into something like this with no warning. Sketchup is just one of many tools I use and I guess I wrongly assumed I could rely on a known tool/solution to solve a problem.

with btw all of this being discussed to the extent in the concerning thread linked above, no need to saddle the dead horse again.

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Software companies don’t break old versions of software and force you to buy new ones to get a fix either. Yet here we are.

I don’t want an upgrade. I want a solution to a failure in a product I paid for. If the airbags in your Honda stop working because of a manufacturer defect, should you pay to have the airbags replaced or buy a new Honda? By your logic, auto manufacturers should just stop issuing recalls and make people pay to fix their mistakes out of pocket or “upgrade” to the latest version of the vehicle to fix the issue?

• SketchUp Extension Warehouse : GEMaker

the warning is linked above…

No terrain.

Typically I never come to this forum. Never needed to before yesterday. I looked through my emails and never got an email from Trimble about this. That would’ve been helpful.

Trimble didn’t break it. Google did.

Probably because you let your support expire.