Late to the show with regard to "add location"

recalls are for security relevant parts only, which the geo location surely not is.

After the warranty is terminated, no manufacturer will replace defective (or worn out) parts for free… besides of goodwill.

I’m here because of the way this was handled in my case. I went to use a feature I’ve used numerous times before and got directed to the sketchup site to find a solution. The solution was to pay $240 to upgrade to get a fix. I contacted support and basically got an email saying “yep, it’s broken. You can read about it here:”

That’s horrible customer service. I don’t really care how it came to be broken. As of now, I’ve been given no remedy from Trimble.

Obviously not a 1:1 analogy. Worn out parts etc. are expected to need replaced. This is not like that at all. It’s not like the feature failed due to use or an inherit design flaw.

Regardless, they’ve sure aggravated a customer. I will not give Trimble another penny at this point. I’ll use what I’ve got and find ways to get what I need done accomplished. I’m just personally upset at the way this all unfolded. As a paying customer I feel I have the right to voice my frustration/point of view on their forum. You can disagree w/ my position and we can argue the finer points of how it unfolded and what we each feel is an appropriate remedy from the company, but at the end of the day, my position won’t change.

I’ve stated my point and my opinions for record. Enjoy the bliss!

never claimed.

similar as your recall analogy.

But assuming that you pay for the maintenance of your car is basically the same for software, companies tend to need some money for maintaining and further development of the product, which gets difficult with customers skipping upgrades over years/aeons.

Will enjoy the bliss, 36° C here :sweat_smile:

I’m fine with people venting, in a thoughtful manner. I do get the level of frustration. I do also know that being a software engineer and not spending full time designing things, that my view will be skewed from the typical SketchUp customer, and more towards the general software industry.
Where I’ve gotten people upset in the past is when I suggest that future-proofing software is impossible. There’s lot’s of things you cannot predict in SketchUp’s journey from @Last Software to Google to Trimble. But I still think it’s important to dialog and try to communicate what’s happened. Here’s a few of the challenges:

  1. Once bought by Google in 2006, Google agreed to give us maps and terrain data, for free, internally. Along with Street View imagery for materials (a less-used feature, but still handy if I like the brown brick on a building in Bruge, Belgium).
  2. Once sold by Google in 2012, Google agreed to give us the data for another 5 years as an external customer. I’m not sure I’ve seen this happen in any other case in Google. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
  3. In the mean time, Google continues to improve it’s incredibly detailed imagery over the next 5 years.

So I now view this as a really great time. I’d love it if this returned again as well, because it lead to some really nice models. Well, Google has changed too: if you didn’t notice, they changed their pricing structure 11 days ago, to the disgruntlement of some customers.

The replacement at Trimble has had a couple of roadblocks: 6 years ago, our discussions were around drone technology and local, precise mapping. About the time they bought SketchUp, Trimble bought Gatewing. Solutions like this have turned out to be high maintenance, not highly profitable, and problem number one. About 2 years ago, Trimble sold them: Not an easy problem to solve.

The second big problem was that our previous owner, Google, is built to handle gadzillions of small payments seamlessly. Trimble and other companies in this space are not set up like Google or Apple or Amazon to do that efficiently. There’s infrastructure that needs to be built.

And your criticism about having 5 years to fix this is accurate. IMHO, what made this a difficult argument is that we were well below market price (free) for this, and had we been charging market price for the service, the risk of losing a percentage of that income would have been an easier argument to pay for a higher quality of data. We’re already paying $ for the current quality, and to go deeper in the hole to match what we had from Google would cost a crazy amount. I write alarms that text or email our teams if something goes down on web sites, and my running joke is that Add Location required no alarms because I’d hear about it immediately from users.

I certainly respect your right to be upset, but there isn’t anything out there today that resembles what we had from Google through 2017, for free. If I were in your shoes, I’d track down some of the resources that others have mentioned, and we’ll continue to improve our offering.


A reoccurring theme I see here is that the answer/reasoning gets way too far in the weeds. I understand the situation with Google is unique.

As a user, it’s just not something I’ve ever seen in ~30 years of software use and dozens, maybe hundreds of applications, plugins etc. I personally have an expectation that the software should function as it did when I bought it indefinitely assuming the environment it was designed to run in is maintained. That’s the way every single other piece of software I own or use works. IF, for example, the application failed to function properly due to a change to environment that I caused (ie trying to run circa 1995 software in windows 10), I would understand and have no issues.

That’s not the case here. I’ve provided the exact required environment for the software to function the way it was designed when I bought it. The failure is on the “backend” which I have no control over. I get the “why”, but I don’t understand the stiff arm approach from customer service when faced with a user like myself, who has left their “maintenance” subscription lapse. In fact, a customer service person informed me today that because my lapse happened so long ago, I’d actually have to buy a new license at full price. Pretty much a slap in the face.

You have to understand how this looks from my perspective. I didn’t do anything to cause the loss in functionality and now I’m being told to pay a hefty sum to get the functionality back. It’s insulting and comes across as greedy. It would be different if the functionality (GE or DG, terrain, satellite imagery, photo textures or whatever) is just gone from all versions and that’s it. Instead, a similarly functioning feature is available in the latest version, but unless you paid the maintenance plan price or pay full price you don’t get it even though you had it before.

It’s not like I want some new feature because it’s nicer than what I had before. You removed a feature I used and want to charge me to get it back. I don’t know why this is so hard to understand.

1 Like

This is very true, and I can sympathize with your frustrations. Additionally, knowing full well that the “Add location” feature is working perfectly well in the newer versions gives the impression that it can be remedied with a simple update, which I can imagine would help a whole user base of SketchUp users still using 2016.

1 Like

I can still fire up SketchUp 6, and things that are not web-related will work, with the exception of setting the font for 3D text. And I came up with a workaround to be able to do that, and someone still wasn’t happy. We just will never please everyone. Your cell phone isn’t going to work in a couple of years, nor will your apps on it. Like your accountant tells you: appreciate it before I depreciate it.


You’re speaking about degradation of features in software as if it’s commonplace. It’s not. Especially not after 1.5 years of use.

The core features of a cell phone will work indefinitely as long as there is electricity to the circuits and the physical components all still function. Add ons will fail to work etc., but the basic features the phone shipped with (ie factory installed/base os functions) will continue to work. Saying “your cell phone isn’t going to work in a couple years” is simply not true. I still have an iphone 1 that powers up and if it had an active sim would still connect to the network and function as delivered.

The GE related tools that ceased to work when your agreement with Google ran out were “factory installed” features. It’s not like an app that I installed after I bought it stopped working and now i’m asking you to fix it. Using the phone analogy, this is more akin to the text messaging utility failing to work. That wont happen with any phone.

It is somewhat entertaining reading the acrobatic explanations and excuses for why this happened. At the end of the day, it’s not commonplace. It’s not normal and it’s not acceptable. I fear that w/ all the fanbois there may be an understanding or assumption from Trimble that this kind of maneuver is just fine. That’s alarming. I don’t see how anyone (unless they’re a paid shill) could just accept this as normal.

Give me one real world example of where a marketed, “factory installed” feature for a paid application suddenly fails to work and the company demands the users pay to get the feature back. Really curious if you have any examples where this has ever happened before. Stop pretending like it’s normal and totally acceptable.

This isn’t about pleasing everyone by providing a workaround. Trimble has provided no remedy to me for this problem. Some internet users have suggested 3rd party plugins to provide similar functionality, but nothing from Trimble directly. Only an email telling me to pay $695 if I want similar functionality. I’m asking for the thing that I bought and paid for to function (or similarly) as it did when I bought and paid for it. Or some remedy to a problem that you (directly or indirectly as the owner of the IP) caused.

1 Like

Right… But in this scenario, we no longer have electricity.

The provider that once provided the service you want has stopped offering that service. Try as we might, we cannot offer something that does not exist. In newer versions we were able to offer an alternative to the previous service, but we cannot give you access to something that we, ourselves, cannot access.


I’m not asking for you to give me access to the Google features.

It’s pretty clear you would rather argue and aggravate a customer than actually provide a solution. It’s astounding.

1 Like

But it works in the new version of the software so it has been “fixed” which leads me to believe it can be restored in older software too.

Unfortunately, no. The service offered in the new versions leverages a totally new provider. The versions that were released before 2017 exclusively used Google (which is no longer available).

I understand. I just agree with the OP that it’s not entirely unreasonable to request a fix to the issue considering the alternative exists and has been implemented into one build already. That’s all.

So you’re saying that you guys sat around and tried to figure out how to port the DG tools to SU Pro 2016 to help people like me out and determined that it was impossible?

Or did you determine that by fixing the problem for 2016 folks that it would cut sales/upgrade purchases/negatively effect the bottom line?

I’m guessing due to the runaround I’ve received in asking for help from customer service that money is a driving factor here. Otherwise you wouldn’t have totally ticked off a customer over a license seat.

1 Like

To be honest, I was just trying to pop in and help… I am not in development or product management nor am I an officer of the company. Not a lot I can do other than try to help out with what is currently available. The official response to everything you are asking is in the original thread: Upcoming Change to Add Location

1 Like

It would cost to pay Google for just the map. But the terrain data is not public in the fashion we got it. So using Google as a data source is out of the question. We hooked up a new data source to data, and went back and fixed SketchUp 2017. Fixing SketchUp 2016 was difficult for a number of reasons (not the least of which 2016 still used IE on Windows), and I wont bore everyone here, as Aaron’s already forwarded the 400+ response thread.

I sent you a private message with 2 solutions. If you need further help, respond to that PM.

it’s not uncommon by makers to remove functionality e.g. if diffcult to get working right or not working with recent operating systems. Not being affected by or not having realized the vanished functionality doesn’t mean that this does not happen.

My old Sony TV were apps constantly removed with every firmware upgrade because the onlince service used wasn’t compatible any more or agreements have ended.

There is no indefinite lifetime warranty for nothing, demanding this (strange to say that often for software only) is naive.

1 Like