Sketchup Blog - News and Notes from the Sketchup folks

Geo-modeling features in SketchUp 8

It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it. – Steven Wright

If modeling the planet is like painting a house, Google provides a lot of different brushes. Internally, we have these big paint sprayers that we’re using in major cities to cover huge swaths of suburbia in a single stroke, but when it comes to the fine work, Google SketchUp and Google Building Maker are the hand brushes. They allow people all over the world to fill in the gaps, perfect signature buildings, and smooth over the mistakes left by the big rollers. With SketchUp 8, the geo-modeling brush set is better connected with Google’s massive geo-data paint bucket than ever before.

Jumpstart your model with Building Maker

SketchUp 8 can open Google Building Maker models downloaded from the 3D Warehouse, and every image used for texturing is automatically created as a Match Photo scene, saving you huge amounts of time gathering measurements and photographs of a building.

Open your Building Maker model and the new Outer Shell tool can merge its primitives into a single SketchUp mesh. From there, the revamped Scenes dialog box and Igloo Mode makes organizing and navigating between your scene tabs a snap. There are even new Style settings for the opacity of Match Photo overlays and backgrounds. A new Back Edges line style provides traditional hidden-line visualization of edges behind or inside your building, and the Push/Pull tool now has a preselect mode that allows you to move faces that you can’t see from a given scene.

Get highest quality, full-color terrain and imagery

The new Add Location feature allows you to import terrain directly into SketchUp without having to fire up Google Earth. Your imported terrain is higher resolution than it was in SketchUp 7, more accurate, and now in full color. Also, Photo Textures from Street View in Google Maps are now part of the revamped Google toolbar.

Model in context

If you’re designing a new building, you can use Building Maker right inside SketchUp 8 to create context models around your site. Simply Add Location to geo-locate your model, and then click the Add Building button. If your site lies in one of the (ever growing) list of Building Maker cities, you’ll be able to create the surrounding buildings in a fraction of the time it would take to model them from scratch. Also, you can find nearby buildings that others have modeled by selecting “Nearby Models” from the Navigation drop-down menu in the Components Browser.

Posted by Scott Lininger, SketchUp Software Developer

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Tomasz said...

does an option to import view from google earth still exist or was it fully replaced with google maps? too bad if so, and i'll have to stick to v7.
view from google earth is better for me that I can import it with all my overlayed layers which are much better georeferenced to the misplaced ortophoto on my citys google coverage.

Unknown said...

Hi Tomasz,

I'd be keen to hear more about how you're using Layers in Google Earth in your SketchUp models, but it is our plan to entirely replace that interface with the new Google Maps version. There is probably a way that we can make more layers visible in that UI, but we need to know which ones you're interested in using. Or is it that you want to be able to supply your own layers?

Be aware that the new "Add Location" feature is going to produce considerably more accurate data in SketchUp, particularly with respect to terrain.

I suspect this is an issue that many people would be interested in discussing further and in more detail. Seems like this would be a great topic for our SketchUp Help Forums, if you're willing to post the question there.


Tomasz said...

I'm using my own KML layers created with GIS software. ortophoto of Bialystok is misaligned for about 20meters so thats very inaccurate. With such big error I'm even not willing to provide Google with my phototextured models (which I have aboud a hundred) because Google requires models to be placed exactly at the position where they appear in Google Earth... I just dont want to put them in a !wrong! place. hope someday (sooner than later) you fix my citys image.

TEApod said...

oh. Some much time could have been saved if this Bulidng maker + sketchup feature was befoure :) Great

TEApod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TEApod said...

only two thing left to add
1. Terrain modeling - based on LIDAR mapping, when user would pin precise leveling points - and terrain would be perfect, not that optimised one.
2. Building maker tool which would be based on LIDAR data - so modelers wouldn`t do models from scratch, but just pin the right points.

Than tools would be absolutely perfect :)

TEApod said...

oh :)
and the third feature is get connected sketchup textures added from building maker and street view - so textures could be updated by Google (users shouldn`t update them when imagery changes).
I believe that Building makers models textures would change when imagery would be updated, but sketchup textures are Baked on a model :)

Than, somewhere in far future Google Earth 3D could whole be mapped from obliquely imagery with no building-terain overlaping -> And all sketchup models would be Updated with it, and won`t became old, shouldn`t be replaced :)

StrayKatStudio said...

Awesome! Can't wait to try it! And despite what some may say, I like that you start out with simpler, basic tools and let people add on or plug in more as they need them. I wish learning Photoshop was as easy as learning Sketchup!

Terrain mapping would be fantastic, so that I wouldn't have to build up so much (Alaska is bumpy), but hey, can't complain about free!
So, ultimately is Google Earth going to combine with Google Maps? Will GoogleMaps ever have 3DBuildings added? Or will iphone GoogleMaps be able to do the 3Dbuilding layer?