Matching imported imagery to Add Location snapshots



As part of the recent Add Location changes I thought it would be good to post steps on how to precisely scale and align an imported image to precisely match your Add Location snapshot. Note that in order for this to work you need to know the length of some feature in your image. Also, please make sure you are not violating the Terms of Use of the imagery provider whose imagery you are using in your skp file.

How to scale imagery precisely
0. Prepare your file to import an image object. Make sure you are prepared to manage a surface painted with your imagery once imported. Create layers or make components out of other geometry as needed.

  1. Import your image as an image object. See File ->Import. Choose an image format and set the 2nd dropdown to “use as image”. Select your file and click ok
  2. Position and scale your image in your sketchup file to complete the import. Note that you’ll likely want to position the image object away from other geometry because you’ll need to explode it in the next step. Scale to some random size, you’ll rescale it again later with the measure tool.
  3. Right click on the image object and choose “Explode”. This step is so you can turn the surface into a component which you can edit and scale inside the component context.
  4. Make sure your selection is correct after exploding the image object. Then right click on your exploded image object geometry and make a component out of it. Now you’re ready to scale based on a known distance in the image.
  5. Edit the component. You can do this by double clicking with the select tool or right-clicking and choosing edit. Start the measure tool. Click option/alt to turn off drawing a guide line. Then measure the distance you know in the imagery. Next enter the value you want to scale that segment to. This is the distance you know. Hit enter and SU will ask you if you want to scale the current context. Click yes. Clean up the guide line if one was created. Then close the component edit session.

Matching the north arrow adjustments of Add Location imagery
Add Location rotates imagery and the north arrow attribute in the file. This is a legacy element to improve accuracy when importing multiple Add location grabs and then exporting to kmz. To see the north direct rotation value you’ll need to download the north arrow extension -
0. This section assumes you have already geo-located your model with Add Location. Measure the north direction rotation by going to The View Menu -> Tool palettes/Toolbars and make sure the “Solar North” toolbar is visible.

  1. Click on the toggle north button to see which way the north direction has been rotated.
  2. Click on “Enter north direction button” to see the exact rotation value to. At this point you can copy the value to your clipboard for later use in the rotate tool.
  3. Select your newly scaled image object and use the rotate tool it to match your Add Location snapshot. Paste in the value from the solar north tool if you copied it.
  4. At this point you should be able to move the imported image so that it matches up to your 2D Add Location snapshot.

Projecting textures onto terrain
If you want to project the imagery onto your 3D terrain check out this article for projecting textures -

Upcoming Change to Add Location

It’s a whole lot easier to scale the image in a fresh new Sketchup window and then cut and paste it into the file you are working on. Or, just do the image import and scale before you draw any other geometry if that is an option.

You may also want to Lock the location image component to simulate what the Add Location tool does.

Finally, you might want to create a “fresh” SKP file that has a layer in it. When you copy and paste the component it will be on a new layer in your file.


I have made important work on municipal plans that have been paid for the peculiarity of being able to navigate in the 3d model made with sketchup and to be able to see in real time the exact location of the selected building, being able to automatically view street views and Refresh the texture of the facades through the special photo texture command.
How do I behave now? In addition to the bad figure I pay twice the money, both for the software investment that promised interesting features for which I bought it, both for municipalities and of course they are no longer willing to pay a service that does not work. It’s a shame! Resolve it as soon as possible.


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