Terrain from Google Map



When are you going to increase the area accessible to sketchup from Google earth ? Right now I can’t even obtain a whole mountain or island of any substantial area. It looks like its about a half mile or less. Is this a problem with Google Earth not wanting sketchup users to be able to “recreate” their earth ?


It is already there for you suggest you read how to add imagery


The two questions you asked are unanswerable, which probably accounts for why there are so few answers. Really, they aren’t even requests for information at all but simply rhetorical and argumentative snipes, and therefore unlikely to receive any serious attention.

If you were clever, you would grab half-a-mountain (or island) at a time and stitch the halves together in SU.



It’s a good idea to find out what can be done before you complain that it can’t. This island is about 2 miles long.


I want to obtain the grand canyon. roughly most of the national park.


but you can’t nail down the points of the sides etc for each plat. its
sloppy. Like they don’t give a ■■■■ if you do or not. And I did get a
snarky reply before yours. And I asked SketchUP not the users.


Hi @reidh,

SketchUp uses Google’s API to grab info from maps/earth, just like anyone else would. Un fortunately, there is a limit to the amount of info that can be pulled. We grab as much as we are able. As @DaveR and @Gully_Foyle pointed out, the solution is to pull in images piecemeal and stitch them together. I know this may not be perfect, but it is a good solution giving the data we can get from Google.

Also, I want to mention that this is a community forum. When you post a question here, it is visible, and available to the entire community. If you want to contact SketchUp directly, then you should reach out to the Knowledge Team.

I hope this helps!


Why do you speak as if defending SketchUP from their side, it is suspicious
that you would so vehemently defend a sloppy feature of their ( actual
"Pro" ) package.


@TheOnlyAaron is an actual SketchUp team member, as the caption after his name suggests, so he is apparently speaking exactly as you would expect.

It seems to me the ability to grab pieces of Google Earth for insertion into SU is not a Pro feature at all. Indeed, the free version of SU was originally introduced by Google specifically for the purpose of interacting with Google Earth; that was Google’s vision at the time for how to populate Google Earth with replicas of architectural and civil engineering structures: they would have an army of home hobbyists crank them out.

Now that Google has come up with a different way to create 3D structures in Google Earth and has sold SU to Trimble, the Google Earth feature remains to the extent it can be maintained through the Google Earth API by an ordinary client.

What puzzles me is why you adopt an antagonistic tone with the very people you are asking for assistance.



@reidh, I know of an Oscar-award winning director who brought in 10 miles worth of data because it was going to be in his movie shot. If you really want this data and don’t want to take the time to get it, would you pay for it? If so, how much? Trimble certainly has capabilities, but our current architecture is limited by Maps API and it’s user agreement, which you probably should read.


I’m NOT asking for assistance, I don’t care who Owns it, I am, I thought it
was obvious, COMPLAINING, not whining, but criticizing whoever is running
SketchUP, for the craptastic feature of being able to grab about an acre or
two of realtime earth topography but having no way of grabbing larger than
that, nor any way of returning to the same edge of the last plat one
captured, and calling it GEO Location With the Google name tag still in the
Texture file. To whomever that is, Thank You.


Strangely, Google Earth doesn’t provide the topological contours that I would expect to utilize in creating a mountain or canyon. Feet above sea level. Getting an ordinance map that shows any areas true topology is a real nuisance. Should be done for any proposed developments on vacant lots in my favored jurisdiction, Bermuda. Development Application Board regs. state that they are not to be used for site drainage purposes but they are inevitably perfect for Cad modeling situations. May the Google Gods be with us & show contours on their maps with feet above or bellow sea level?


OOPS! Full 3d terrain & foliage etc. is provided through Google Earth & the right visualization software. Duh!


I agree that the limit on the area that can be captured is frustrating. As others have stated however this is a limit of Google Earth and not SketchUp.

Apart from laboriously stitching many tiles together, you might be able to get your terrain as a DEM file. I understand that you can get free USGS DEM files. These can be imported into SketchUp:


You can then screen capture or save the aerial imagery from Google Earth and then bring it in as a JPEG texture and project it onto your DEM. You will need to scale it to the correct size, align it above your DEM and then explode it. Then sample and apply the texture to the DEM.

Another advantage of this is that your texture is likely to be at a higher resolution. You can also stitch in Photoshop from zoomed in areas to get a higher resolution if one capture from a large area isn’t sufficient resolution. The problem with capturing large areas via SketchUp and Google Earth is that the larger the area, the lower the resolution.


Yeah, I know. Just Thanks