Google Earth
 Some tips for working with Google Earth:
Announcement:  User generated 3D model pipeline to be retired October 1st, 2013  Building on your personal layer will still continue and existing Google Earth buildings will remain until replaced by the 45° aerial imagery Google is using to scan the earth.  :(

Go to Geomodelling, a site started by Aerilius to invesigate geomodeling on OpenStreetMap.

Quick Tips




How did you apply the downsized textures? Using the materials browser and editing the existing materials and choosing a different file path, or did you import them as new materials and applied them using the paint bucket?

In the second case you would just have added them to the model, increasing the file size, if some faces (or even groups/components or edges!) still have the old materials.

Also, you are talking only about the file size of the skp file, not kmz? For kmz files, the size can not necessarily be correlated with the skp model.

In addition, SketchUp tries to fetch textures from the original file path instead from in the model. That means if your model contains downsized textures, but at the original file path you restored the full-size textures, then the kmz will include the full-sized ones.



Odd Problems


Google Earth Plugin Tips


Other Forums and Sites


Photo Editing

  • Extracting texture from curved building photo???  Making useful texture from a curved and shaded building surface.
  • Lens Corrector  Photo editor plug-in to correct camera lens distortion - Fee - Windows, Mac
  • Panorama-Stitchers
    • AutoStitch  Licensed to several panorama-stitching programs (and even an iPhone application)
    • PTgui  A panorama-stitcher - Fee - Windows, Mac
  • PTLens  Photo editor plug-in to correct camera lens distortion - Fee - Windows, Mac
  • Structurae  Image resource for bridges, tunnels, dams, skyscrapers, stadiums, towers, etc.

Other Relevant Programs and Plugins

  • Coords from Text Tag Datum  TIG - Tag the existing Geo-referenced Lat/Long AND a Z as customized relative to the origin.  Send coordinates to a CSV file.
  • Google Building Maker  The online building program - now added to SketchUp 8, under the File menu.
  • GML Texturizer  SketchUp plug-in  which automates the construction of simple, urban buildings.
  • Goldilocks v2.0  AdamB - Analyses material resolution based on model and current viewpoint size.
  • KML Tools  Aerilius - Import and export KML files into SketchUp - bring almost any feature from Google Earth to SketchUp and back. 
  • Make Unique Texture ++  Aerilius - Steroid-laced version of SketchUp native Make Unique tool.
  • Raylectron_Texture_Exporter  Raylectron - Exports model textures to a directory - Free - Windows
  • Texture Resizer   Aerilius - Downsamples all textures in the model / selection.
  • TubeAlongPath  TIG - Extrudes cylinder along a path.  Set the segmentation to 3 edges to extrude visible wires for the 3D Layer.
  • Upload model with custom thumbnail  Aerilius - This plugin allows to create a thumbnail image for models shared on Google 3D Warehouse.
  • WireTool (Catenary)  Aerilius - Acurately strung out wires and rope with two clicks.

Third-Party Program Integration

  • ArchiCAD  Google Earth and 3D Warehouse integration 
  • Google Earth Extension  for several AutoCAD applications - Update, this has been remove from AutoCAD.
  • Rhino 4.0  Imports and Exports SketchUp Files and uses KZL to anchor Rhino files in Google Earth - Windows, Intel Mac

Viewing Edges in Google Earth

From Sage Beryldrue
If you intend to submit the model to the official 3D layer, via the 3D warehouse, it will not retain its edges.  But if you are just interested in seeing it in Google Earth with some edges showing, there is a way to do that.  In SketchUp, go to File--->Export--->3D. There are two choices for exporting, one is kmz (stripped out edges, so don't pick this one) the second is "collada' or .dae. Select this one. Before saving it, click on "options" and make sure you check off "edges". Save the file to your computer.
Go to Google Earth, choose "open" then navigate to the saved .dae file. Open it, give it a Model name. It will show edges. (they may not be the same edges you see in SketchUp, as the edge display is controlled by the chosen style)
I made a really quick green tower to illustrate: 
1. model in SketchUp
2. exporting .dae file with edges option
3. model in Google Earth, via kmz export ( no edges)
4. model in Google Earth, via dae export ( with edges)


Modeling Methods



Depiciting sub-surface Google Earth models


Create 'Artificial' Terrain

There is no possibility to lower terrain in GE. Do not try to model narrow trenches, moats and holes.

The best you can do is to rise the building(s) until they completely (or almost completely) are over the GE terrain and then build an artificial terrain below those parts of the buildings that are floating in mid air. Sure, your model might not fit vertically with neighbouring buildings, but as said this is the best you can do.

In principle there is no problem with modeling a larger area of terrain this way, except that you will then want to put your complete building complex together with the terrain in one model, in which case you should even more careful about modeling efficiency. More details on efficient modeling can be found in the official GE Modeling Guide

When modeling artificial terrain you may use the original GE ground texture (e.g. from a screenshot), so your terrain will blend nicely with the original terrain. (Look at page 23 of the modeling guide.) You will have to apply the texture manually to your terrain, so keep it simple!

Be sure you anticipate that the GE terrain might shift in future versions, so you better continue your artificial terrain a short way below the GE terrain to accommodate at least for slight vertical shifts. If GE changes the elevation model completely you will have to update your model anyway.

In the above screenshot you see a church which in reality is on almost plain terrain, in GE the terrain is rather sloped. While the left side is slightly sunken in (but with the textures shifted accordingly), the right side got some artificial terrain extending  well below the original terrain. The artificial terrain consists of just a six polygons in this case.

- matthiasbasler