Geo-Modeling for Google Earth in Google SketchUp 8 Only - dummies

Geo-Modeling for Google Earth in Google SketchUp 8 Only

By Aidan Chopra

Because Google SketchUp is especially good for architecture, you can use it to make buildings that you can look at in Google Earth. If you want, you can also upload (send) what you make to the 3D Warehouse, where anyone who finds your model can download (borrow) it to use in her copy of SketchUp.

Follow these steps to build a geo-model with SketchUp:

  1. Open a new SketchUp file.

  2. Import a geo-location snapshot by geo-locating your model.

  3. Make sure that you look at the flat version of your terrain.

    Choose File, Geo-location from the menu bar; make sure Show Terrain is deselected.

  4. Trace the footprint of the building you want to model directly on the color snapshot.


  5. Use Push/Pull to extrude the footprint to the correct height.

  6. Model until you’re satisfied with what you have.

    The key of building a great Google Earth model is to combine clean photo-textures with simple geometry to produce a model that’s both detailed and lightweight.

  7. Flip to the 3D version of your snapshot (choose File, Geo-location, Show Terrain) and then move your building up or down until it sits properly, poking through the ground just a little bit.

    Select everything you want to move, and then use the Move tool to move it up or down. You can press the up- or down-arrow key to constrain your move to the blue axis if you want.


  8. Preview your model in Google Earth to make sure it looks right.

  9. Upload your model to the Google 3D Warehouse.

    The 3D Warehouse is the source for every user-generated (not modeled by Google) geo-model that’s added to the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth. By selecting the checkbox to indicate that it’s Google Earth-ready and then uploading it, you’re submitting your model for consideration.