I know that the default North location is aligned with the green axis. (I’m using the Solar North plugin to see this.)
But when you geo-locate and import Google Earth terrain, the North direction changes depending upon where you’ve geolocated the model on earth. In this example, I chose Boston, MA and you can see the North direction has been adjusted. Also, notice how the imported image is rotated slightly to match the new North orientation, but the group it is contained in is aligned to the model axes.
I have a couple of questions about this:
What does the angle between the green axis and the new North orientation represent? I have a suspicion that the default North along the green axis is relative to a specific Boulder, CO location. Whenever you geo-locate, you are seeing the difference between solar north angle at Boulder, CO, and solar north at your new location. I could be wrong though. (But, if you consider the fact that you can use the shadow tool without specifying a location, then there HAS to be a default location that each Sketchup file is set to in order to position the sun. If you go to Model Info > Geo-locate > Set Manual Location, you’ll see it has Boulder, CO set as default. Hmm.)
Since the imported terrain is cropped parallel to its relative North direction, wouldn’t it make more sense to retain the north direction already set in the model, and have the terrain and image import parallel to north? What’s the benefit of having it imported slightly rotated and changing the north direction? I feel like this is especially important when a user has changed the north direction using the Solar North plugin. If you geolocate, it throws out any changes you’ve made to North.
I just don’t understand why North should ever change automatically without direct user input. If the difference in angle we are seeing is relative to the Boulder, CO location, why do we need to see that? It’s more valuable to have North remain constant, to either the default green axis alignment, or to whatever the user set north to using the Solar North tool. It shouldn’t change just because we imported Google Earth data. Google Earth should be rotated to MATCH our defined north in the model. Am I right?
There’s probably a logical reason for this behavior, I just need to be enlightened.