Upcoming Change to Add Location



Hey all you SketchUppers

We have a pretty big announcement coming down the pike that we feel you’ll appreciate knowing about sooner than later so you can plan accordingly. Specifically, we’re moving away from the Google provided geographic data. This has important implications for both satellite imagery and terrain features for some versions of SketchUp. We’re sure you’ll have a ton of questions so we’ve already posted our most expected questions in the Help Center here: https://help.sketchup.com/en/geodatachange

This change will affect all SketchUp Make users, regardless of version, and will affect SketchUp Pro users on varying levels. This is all happening at the end of May, after which Add Location will only function in SketchUp 2017. SketchUp Make will see satellite imagery and terrain features replaced by a map layer. In addition the photo-texures feature will no longer be available in any version.

This is a huge announcement which will affect everyone who does any sort of location based modeling in SketchUp, and we’re aware of this. Unfortunately this isn’t an optional update, the data available from Google terrain servers will not be available to us after May so we’re working hard to ensure we have the highest quality data available and we will remain a leader in our ease of use with location data. We’ll be rolling out some of this functionality to SketchUp before May 22nd so you can try the new functionality and adjust your workflow while still having the flexibility to fall back on your current behavior as needed.

Be sure to visit the Help Center link above for more specific details!

UPDATE: The new data layers are now available in SU 2017. This means that Pro users will see two new layers in add location: “Satellite” and “Map”. Make users will now see a “Map” layer. Google Satellite is no longer an option for any version of SketchUp. For more info check out https://help.sketchup.com/en/geodatachange.

Update #2: Adjusted what Pro users see for Map & Satellite data, with the available data change we now have simpler options for Map vs Satellite data.

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Thanks for sharing this info. I do not currently use it but have been considering it. Given the large number of users on SketchUcation, I think you should post this info over there as well.


Oh, this does not sound like good news!
I have a very large model located on a specific site and there are many real life buildings around it to give context too.
What will I do without Geolocate from Google Earth and Google Maps???
I though you were all one big happy Google family??

I have SU Pro.

Gee, I was hoping it would get better, with high resolution terrain maps, but this is going the wrong way…


SketchUp hasn’t been part of the “Google family” for nearly five years.

This is certainly no reason to panic. Let’s see how it goes. Could be a whole lot better.


Well, it’ll be hard if not impossible to match Google’s depth of mapping locations and options. I use elevation from Google Earth, the Components, Nearby Models option to import buildings into the precise geolocation, and the geolocate option to place a map under my model building (which is nearly a hundred stories tall). Maybe Google should buy SU back…


Not likely to happen! They have moved on considerably since selling SketchUp to Trimble. I suppose, in retrospect, we are lucky they even agreed to continue free access to their API for five years.


My guess: Had Trimble not purchased SketchUp, it would have died like many other Google projects when they stopped serving Google’s needs. There have already been many more improvements in SketchUp since Trimble bought them than there ever were under Google.


Getting to sound like a business opportunity - people with pro geodata accounts being able to access their data though Add Location or another extension.


If you have Pro, you will be able to do all this. The data just wont be from Google.
The Nearby Models function in the component browser searches the 3dwh for geolocated models. It is not tied to the Add Location service change.



@Whaat has a new plugin that will also create models of large regions. I think it’s still in beta.


Are there any plans on an improved user interface or is this just a backend change? To me geo location has always seemed a bit rushed and unpolished. I don’t think the “dumb” locked components and the hack of manually importing numerous areas and stitch them together to a larger terrain at all fits in among SketchUp’s intuitive drawing tools.

Edit: I made a mockup of an improved UI some time ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3S-QOtpN5Y . The front end for this kind of already exists but it’s not hooked up to any geo data service.


Hi eneroth,

At this time the only change is in the ability to select data sources, and the available data. I’ll pass along your YT video though, I’m not sure if there have been any plans to update the UI or functionality beyond this data source change.


The new plugin “PlaceMaker” is available now. This is the webpage for it: http://www.suplacemaker.com/


What would really help, and which has been mentioned by many other users of course, is improving the resolution of the geomaps in SU. Frankly, the resolution is awful, barely legible up close and too fuzzy at a distance. I understand this is the difference in rendering formats between Google and SU, but something really needs to be done for any future version of geolocate.
Also, what will become of using Google street view to capture buildings in SU? If Google is out, then what…? Nobody else that I’m aware of scours the globe to that degree. I have several buildings I extruded and then painted with Google street images that way in SU.


Street View feature will no longer be available. This is something that was unique to Google’s offering to SketchUp. Unfortunately, Google is no longer providing this service due to legal restrictions.



Ouch. This really hurts.


I’m not seeing the layer change option - macOS, 17.2.2554 - is that coming?
Wanted to test it out on all current projects that might need geo info, in case I need to update / stash information away.


For StreetView - I’ve brought in street view / Bing / etc. imagery manually, add as texture or add as a watermark.


The new layers will be available in early April.