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How to get background image as reference

Hey guys!
I've been trying to import a google maps JPG file that I took using my PC as a background but I can't make it fit with the Stock airport.
I've been trying to stretch it by entering different values but I don't see there is another way to do it.
Is there a way to import the image from Google maps or something that will allow the image to fit itself properly under the airport?

Thanks much in advance.


You may wish to review this thread regarding use of "Rhumba Maps":


Alternatively, you could use SBuilderX to capture aerial imagery tiles from your choice of satellite tile server, then export it from SBuilderX as a GeoTIFF.

Or, with SBuilderX, you can select a group of tiles to make a custom photo-real BGL for the airport background area.

Immediately after that BGL is compiled, you can make a backup copy of the composite 1-piece BMP file and its accompanying Geo-referencing *.TXT file which has the same filename as the BMP; these files will be found in:

[SBuilderX install path]\Tools\Work\

These images can be opened in your choice of graphics program and a copy exported as a JPG or BMP etc., dividing it into multiple 'segments' of the airport area which are "small enough" (by file size), to be accepted into the (memory-limited) ADE background image work-space.

Hope this helps ! :)

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Teo, click the Add Location icon on the SketchUp bar that looks like a folded map:

This will bring up the location browser window. Type your location or coordinates, in this case we have used KSFO SF Ca:


Click the select region button, do so and you will have a Google Earth image geo-located into your Sketch Up space.
Hi Teo:

IIUC, since your OP above is posted within this ADE sub-forum, and specifically indicates your goal in this thread is to "get a background image as a reference", AFAIK, if using the Google Maps aerial imagery tile server via Sketchup, you would also need to:

* Sketchup Menu > File > Export > 2D Graphic ...of the aerial imagery texture draped onto the "flat" Sketchup "ground"


* Assign a "Default Image Editor" in Sketchup via:

Sketchup Menu > Window > Preferences > {System Preferences} dialog > Applications > Default Image Editor [Choose...] button

( Choose the executable file name for your preferred graphics application from the folder in which it is located )



1.) Sketchup Menu > Window > Layers / Default Tray > {Layers} dialog > Un-check "Location Terrain"

2.) Sketchup Menu > Window > Layers / Default Tray > {Layers} dialog > check "Location Snapshot"

...Then, using a copy of the Sketchup *SKP file containing all required 'draped' aerial imagery ground tiles:

1.) Pre-select all Google Maps aerial imagery draped onto Sketchup "ground" tiles

a.) Right-click the Pre-selected Google "ground" tiles

b.) Choose 'Unlock' from the pop-up context menu

2.) Double-click to 'Select' the entire area ...of the aerial imagery texture draped onto the "flat" Sketchup "ground surface"

3.) Right-click and choose Texture > Edit Texture Image... from the pop-up context menu

4.) In the graphical editor application that pops up:

a.) Save / export a copy of the image as a JPG or BMP etc., dividing it into multiple 'segments' of the airport area which are "small enough" (by file size), to be accepted into the (memory-limited) ADE background image work-space.

: Sketchup Geo-located aerial imagery uses (1) set of central Geo-referencing coordinates (for the very first tile of downloaded aerial imagery); these can be accessed / copied from:

Sketchup Menu > Window > {Model Info} dialog > Geo-location > [Set Manual Location...] button


Hope this helps with 'extracting' Sketchup's Google Maps aerial imagery for use as a background in ADE ! :)

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If I understand your question, then I don't understand all the "Sketchup" references being made here, but here is the process I use to scale maps to the size of the airport in ADE.

Take a screen capture of the airport you are working on using whatever map program you prefer. It's important to have your view set to North so you wont' have to rotate the image later on in ADE. I use Google Earth, but any image you capture from anywhere will be fine.

Next, after you have opened up the airport in ADE, right click anywhere on the ADE background and scroll down to the "Add" tab and then to the "Image" tab that populates.

Click on image and a box will pop up that wants you to browse to your background image.

Once you have done that and the correct image shows up in the "File Name" box click on "Save" and the image will appear on your ADE Background, but probably not in the correct size.

Now left click on the image that appears in your background and a red "X" should appear across the image.

After the red "x" appears right click on the image and you should see a list of options that includes about 1/3 way down "Position Image". Left click on that.

An image properties box should appear that include spaces to enter coordinates, pan the image, etc.

The only box I typically use is the "Scale" box. It should be preset to a 1.0 value. I left click that value and then start scrolling my mouse wheel. The image will increase or decrease in size and continue this until it fits perfectly underneath your airport. I typically use the runway(s) for size reference to know when I have it correct. Voila.

Hope I answered your question and did not misunderstand.

Another method:

With any aerial image provider using coordinates in decimal degrees, I get my airport full-screen, then using the mouse for Upper Left and Lower Right, I note the coordinates manually. Then I use the Win7 clipping tool to save the pic. In ADE, I just have to punch in the coordinates - done!

You may like to try GMapCatcher. I find it very easy to use as it gives you the upper left and lower right co-ordinates required to import an image into ADE

Dave Butler