Terrain imported from Google Maps is vertically exaggerated. How to correct?

I have added imagery from Google Maps by the following process:

File -> Geo-location -> Add more imagery

Then I have found my spot, grabbed the bit of map I want and I can see it in Sketchup. The only problem is that the vertical aspects of the terrain is something like 10x as high as it should be. ie. a relatively flat area is importing very hilly.

To solve, I can scale it manually on the blue axis, but this causes issues if I’m using multiple terrain images imported from maps they don’t line up properly.

How is this done accurately?

What is the location? Perhaps that needs to be checked with the supplier of the terrain data.

FWIW, the imagery and terrain haven’t come from Google Maps since May of last year. The Add Location feature works with data from Digital Globe. See: https://help.sketchup.com/en/geodatachange

Thanks for your reply Dave. The location is 58° 7’5.54"N, 24°35’0.59"E

Looking in Google Earth, the terrain looks normal - a very flat area.

Interesting read regarding Geodata change. I also didn’t know Sketchup was no longer a Google product.

It hasn’t been a Google product for nearly 6 years. I’ll look at your location and see what I can see.

Is this the right location?

Edge on it looks like this:

Are you seeing something different?

The overall variation in height in the area I grabbed is about 19m. Google Earth is showing the high spot at around 30m above sea level and the low area around 13m. Not quite the 19m I got in the sample but pretty close. I don’t know which one is more accurate. If it’s critical, I’d do a physical survey.

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That is the location, but the height variation definitely isn’t 19m there. In that square you grabbed above, the highest point is in the south west looks like it would be a hill but I’d be surprised if it is even 2m higher than anywhere else.

It is kind of critical for it to be accurate as we are planning the terrain of the property, roads, water run off etc

We might look at doing a survey with a Drone and Drone Deploy, which will also give us a beautiful high res map as well. I haven’t come across anything regarding importing the 3d models and terrain it captures into Sketchup though. Perhaps a query for another thread.

Appreciate the help.


That’s where both Google Earth and Digital Globe put the high spot. If you are correct, they are both wrong.

Then absolutely you will want to do a physical survey.

If you can get a text file of XYZ coordinates from your survey, there are extension for importing them as a point cloud and other extensions that will create faces from the cloud or points.

If you think of it after you get the data, it would be interesting to see just how much the elevations differ from the data supplied by GE and DG.

FWIW, I’ve had projects where I have contours from a surveyor’s A-2 map for my client’s lot, but since they don’t go beyond our property lines, I’ve also brought in the Google terrain to add the neighboring context (this was before the Google source was taken away). I’ve always needed to scale the Google terrain in the vertical dimension to fudge it close to the quality data from the surveyor. I’ve been underwhelmed by the quality of what’s imported from these aerial contour sources.

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I’m guessing the resolution and accuracy of the terrain data has been reduced for the likes of us. We don’t pay enough to get the good stuff.

OT: Today is the centenary of the Estonian Declaration of Independence. Congratulations!

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