Sketchup useful 4 ecological research project?

Hi guys I’m just seeing if sketch up might be useful for my project to daylight a stream in my neighborhood. My team and I are using GIS and Visionmaker currently. since visionmaker is still in beta I would like to see if I can replace use SketchUp instead. Yes I know Visionmaker and Sketchup are supposed to do different things but we only use visionmaker to view what are the immediate things near the stream. I know that I can get some pre made data of the streams area.

Also are there any tools in sketchup where I can draw a stream so that it looks like a stream on my computer?
One last question, are there tools that look like certain things? For example, can I draw a dark grey pipe.


I think this will depend on your specific needs. To answer a couple of your questions:

  1. Yes, you can draw a dark grey pipe. You can choose any color, or a texture, to apply to any surface.
  2. You could do similarly for a stream, choosing a blue color or adding a water-like texture.

“Are there any tools in sketchup where I can draw a stream…” That depends on what “looks like a stream on my computer” means. You could certainly create something like this:

The left “stream” being a blue color, and the right “stream” having the “shallow stream” texture applied. I just used the freehand tool to sketch those out, but if you are importing data, you may just have some cleanup to do, and then apply color/textures.

If your local stream is suitable, you can grab GIS data directly off Google maps…complete with 3D terrain, using the Location toolbar. It might at least provide a starting point for a more detailed model.