It took many years of confusion until I learned why the geo location terrain looks rotated in the model, and why geo locating changes the north angle. For those who don’t know, geo locating a model in SketchUp makes the model green axis match something called Grid North. I have personally never heard of Grid North outside of SketchUp’ geo location - not in architecture school, not in my internship, not in high school, not in elementary school. Grid north doesn’t even have a page on Swedish Wikipedia.
The idea of Grid North seems quite smart. If I understand it correctly, you divide earth’s surface in segments where you approximate the surface as singly curved. This allows two parallel lines to stay parallel, but at the cost of north jumping a few degrees when you cross the border between two segments.
The problem to me is that Grid North just doesn’t seem to be widely used here. Every time I’ve geo located a model and imported a DWG plan, site plan or city plan, it has been oriented with True North as its Y axis. Every time I’ve had to either rotate it to match SketchUp’s solar north direction (with some custom Ruby snippet for precision), or reset solar north to 0 and also rotate the terrain/map snapshot accordingly.
I propose making geo located models use green axis as True North, or at least make it an option when geo locating. Not only would this make my life easier, but it would also lower the learning curve and be a lot easier to make sense of as it follows the principle of least surprise.
Who knows, maybe simplifying this also makes the SketchUp devs’ life easier.