Upcoming Change to Add Location



With FIVE YEARS to plan, making this announcement of the poor-quality available from DigitalGlobe, with a MONTH before the cutoff of Google is NOT helpful and very unprofessional in my opinion! Don’t take this personally but I am extremely upset with Trimble.

My workflow will be totally smashed and disrupted. the quality of the imagery from DG is dismally low and for most of my purposes, unusable. (it’s not my problem that they shoot imagery from satellite and not a plane…I don’t care how it get’s done- I just need quality results)

I have no idea how I will be able to provide the same professional services and deliverables now. This situation is completely unacceptable to me as subscribing Pro user.


The beauty of GE inside of SU Pro was that much of the county-level GIS data I needed was already included, making the workflow straight-forward. Open Maps, not so much.

I appreciate the attempt to offer knowledge but I was already making use of county-level GIS for other things, so I know what extra steps I need to take to make things right.

It’s just that in a perfect world the move to the new maps would have been a clear step up, but instead it’s one step up and one step down.

Hence: :neutral_face:


I have been using sketchup to model houses using the geo location with google maps. Now the satellite images from the newer map is very low res. A workaround for me was to import images and scale them. But I cannot get the map texture to line up with the house. I am very new at this and have been using basic tools with the geo location. Any way to get the image to line up so I can use the eye dropper tool to copy the roof onto the model?

EDIT: I figured it out. Posting it here to help other beginners like me… I took the advice on this post. Imported from google earth pro (google earh pro save image). When you do this it gives you the option of showing the scale. It has a Bar and a scale. Once imported. I simply used the tape measure tool to scale the bar to what ever it says. In my case it was 100ft. So I scaled it to 100ft. Afterwards I exploded the image. Then right click and made it into a component. Now I can use the eyedropper tool to “paint” the reference image onto the roof to continue modeling. in my case I only used the roof images and no other data.


This is pretty disappointing. And boneheaded. Probably to save a buck, even on our paying dime.

Though a workaround to this stupidity is to geo-locate in a 2017 Make, save file back save to 2016 or whatever you’re using. Extra steps, but still usable.


if I understand correct, the Google Earth Enterprise API was deprecated by Google end of 2015… therefore probably no choice to use this API much further than yet…

… but Trimble should maybe join the ‘Cesium Consortium’ and use the Cesium JavaScript library for accessing Google Earth (Enterprise) as well as alternative imagery sources with ease:

Cesium Viewer


Yes. Google is removing access, it’s not Trimble choosing to discontinue access.


Hey Everyone

I posted tutorial on how to match an imported image to your Add Location snapshot. It’s not hard once you know how but, the process is far from straight forward to come up with from scratch.

Check out - Matching imported imagery to Add Location snapshots



This is seriously disappointing. Any designer who works on their own, but is not a part of a larger company, is now forced to spend $695 (not easy at all, and impossible in many circumstances) for a satellite geo-location capability that quite likely is not as good as Google Earth’s, and additionally, makes it impossible to directly add buildings to Google Earth.

Initially I had hopes for Trimble’s ownership of SketchUp. But of course, everything is now being turned into a “revenue opportunity” that will ultimately close out all of those who can’t afford to “easily switch” to the new system. It’s infuriating to be honest.

There really is no response or spin that Trimble can put on this that makes this good for a large plurality of people who use the application for individual freelance design requiring geo location.

Very sad.


Do not understand your rational. Google / Trimble executed a business deal at time Trimble took owner ship. Trimble knew the terms of that and they dropped the ball in making sure there plans / approach were will thought out to support there present users. They will pay the price for that and if they start loosing $$ from their paying customers and if the pain threshold get high enough they will do something or maybe not ???


Disappointed that some people don’t comply with the SketchUp (SU) Terms of Use? The activity you describe:
“Any designer who works on their own …” is almost certainly a commercial use and, per the Terms of Use, requires the purchase of SU Pro. So this hypothetical person should have already paid the $695.


For what? The geolocation function works exactly the same in both Make and Pro, and the coming change applies to both versions equally.[quote=“ElegantScience, post:118, topic:40953”]
people who use the application for individual freelance design
Using SketchUp professionally requires a Pro license, and it did so even a little before the switch to Trimble. If I remember right the change came with SketchUp 8,


I work for myself.
I paid up for the pro version a long time ago, and happily pay for the maintenance / upgrade / whatever fees every year.
I’m sure you like being paid for your work.

My belief is that there would be no more SketchUp if Trimble did not buy. Google would have let it die, or killed it off, much like any / all services they decide do not fit into their plans.

Be sure to buy the Pro version if you are being paid for your individual freelance design, unless you are giving away your work for free, like Trimble does with Make.

Yes, the loss of the Google data is disappointing, but thats due to restrictions to the API from Google. We can argue day in and out that Trimble could have handled this roll back of features better - and you can always contact customer service with a complaint and argue that you are owed a refund due to key features being shut down after you purchased the software.


Check it out the NPAPI frame work was dropped by others (Firefox etc)))because of security issue and then caused the usage to drop to very low levels. It was announced deprecation effective end of 2015 as noted by skectch3d_d above. There are a number of developers who have been working some time on the transition but my sense is Trimble was slow in responding.
You can logon to Google Earth now and see what you can get at this time although the IE part is not up yet at least as of yesterday. You will have to download and use chrome for now.
Some of the solar folks should ckeck it out since it looks like they will be getting sun load data but I can not evaluate.


Mate, Pay the $695, its worth it just for piece of mind. That money goes into more development and a better product.


why not let the gelocation developer(s) evaluate 1 or 2 days the Cesium JS lib, integration seems to be pretty straightforward and would enable some additional layers for compensating the loss of GE.


If I remember well SU8 was the last free for commercial use.

SU7 was the last with free DWG import.

SU2017 will be the last with free geolocation photo imagery. For Pros it will only mean less quality on imagery.

Sincerelly, I understand the Pro user’s frustration,as quality dropped a bit, but I cannot understand the frustration of hobbyists. It seems some hobbyist’s life will end because their entertainment is over.

But what really bothers me is people using Make commercially, which they are not entitled to, but still brag about how Trimble should fulfil all their needs for free as if Trimble had the obligation to offer anything to anyone.

As a Pro, I’m really happy I still have the geolocation feature and the quality of imagery was nice to have, but what we will have now is for me, also enough. I’m sure there are other Pro users who are really frustrated but I hope there will be a solution for them.

For those who are able to pay, which unfortunatelly are not all:

It’s trully incredible what Placemaker is able to do and, of course, having it for free would be madness…


Placemaker looks impressive but according to the FAQ uses DigitalGlobe imagery so I’m not sure it solves any image resolution problems.


Probably it doesn’t but I got some higher res images than with google in some places. I didn’t test it much as google’s were fine for me already and Placemaker has a limited amount of images you can download, even if this number is probably much higher than what I’ll ever need, I like saving when I can.


Cesium is a 3D viewing environment. It doesn’t solve the data issue. It was developed an open source replacement for Google Earth Enterprise customers. A single seat of GEE used to cost roughly $50,000 and came with no data. You read that right. No imagery, no vectors, nothing. All GEE customers had very large expensive data sets of their own which they visualized in the app. Cesium happens to easily connect to legacy GEE servers and google no longer has to maintain that platform for enterprise level customers. Instead they can focus on their main user base which are regular GE and Maps users.

SketchUp’s Add Location feature is powered by 2D map tile service which is more like Google Maps than Google Earth. Trimble actually has its own tile serving infrastructure and teams which maintain those services. But again, the difficult part is sourcing the imagery/data. There are open source imagery sets available to Cesium users but none of them are anywhere close to quality of DigitalGlobe. There are probably open source imagery sets out there which are higher resolution but they cover small areas and are quickly out dated. SketchUp needs a global solution that is updated on a regular basis.

As DerekEdison mentioned, PlaceMaker delivers the same DigitalGlobe imagery as SketchUp Pro but they have a monthly quota of 250 tiles per user. A tile is a 1280x1280 [EDITED] pixel image at some zoom level. One of the nice features of PlaceMaker is that they allow users to grab large areas at the highest resolution. However, if they didn’t have a quota, they’d go broke. SketchUp doesn’t have the ability to enforce a quota right now which is what limits the kinds of imagery products we can offer.


thanks for clarification.