Line drawing tool snaps away using sketchup to draw over a Google Map image

Hi folks,

I am a newbie to Sketchup and would appreciate some help. I have recently bought four acres of land and am starting to plant an edible forest on the land. I want to create a scaled map of the land which I can use to design the planting, positioning trees and plants at the right spacing, and in relation to buildings and boundaries. I would like to be able to print 2D plans but also look at the 3D image to help decide on the design, see shadows cast by buildings and trees at different times of the year, and anticipate the increase in size of trees over time. My research so far has led me to using Sketchup, and I’ve come across two methods of getting started:
1 Add Geolocation, adding from Google Maps the image and terrain.
2 Save an image of the land from Google Maps, then import into Sketchup.

I’ve been using guides such as this one from the web:

However for both of the above options, I need to draw an initial 2D image over the top of the image for field boundaries, to add new outbuildings etc, and of course to add trees and hedges which already exist. I will then be using this layer to add the trees I’m planting. So I create a new layer, but when I try and draw over the top of the imported images in that layer to create a face eg of a hedge or field, after adding a couple of points the line drawing tool doesn’t allow me to draw the line to where I want. Either the black line will disappear, or it will change colour (with accompanying small boxes saying things like “on green axis”) and snap to points either side of where I need to draw to follow the field boundaries. I’ve tried changing the camera view, perspective, parallel perspective or two point perspective, but it makes no difference.

I would appreciate some guidance as to whether I’m trying to use Sketchup for something it simply can’t do and is not designed for, or if there are some settings I can change or other ways to achieve the same goal.

Many thanks in advance.

I think this would do what you are trying to do

Although i didnt give it a good read, but the link you have included is quite outdated?

Hi Josephkim,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my query. You’re right that the link I posted in my original message is from some years ago - I haven’t found more recent instructions on-line which seem relevant to my task.

The article you posted a link to is relevant, but I have tried this already. I was able to successfully import the geolocation information and terrain. However at the resolution I will be working with (at times I will need to view an area maybe 10m x 10m on screen) the Google Maps image which is imported is very blurred and messy.

I had hoped to be able to trace over it using the “top” camera view, to produce a “clean” line drawing which I can use as a basis for adding trees and shrubs etc. However when I try and do this my cursor keeps snapping to other axes, and it’s not possible for me to follow the lines of the landscape eg the line of a hedge. At other times the lines I’m drawing seem to either disappear in parts, and/or drop under the terrain. Sketchup seems to want me to draw regular shapes eg rectangles but not irregular shapes, of which my land seems mainly to be formed!

I’ve googled this problem for hours and not found a solution so I’m close to giving up on Sketchup and trying another program such as Inkscape, which may be better suited to my purpose.

It’s a same though as I had hoped to benefit from the 3d planning capability of Sketchup.

You can change the axis location and orientation.

And you can lay down guidelines at any angle you want.

Also, make sure the topo is turned off and that you are only looking at the 2d sat image.