# Using your own imagery in sketchup?

#### Ablai McKerrow

Hello everyone,

I’m wanting to know if it’s possible to import my own imagery that I’ve got into sketchup and to use that instead of geo location? The difficulty im having is how you would do it and how you would get the sizes right? You can see above the imagery I have. Just want to be able to get that into sketchup and draw buildings over it, but get the correct size of the buildings etc, If that makes sense.

Cheers.

#### =rk=

Resource contributor
It is absolutely possible, however you will quickly learn that exact placement is pretty much a mathematical impossibility. This starts with the fact that no image is recorded from a vantage that is exactly tangential to the portion of the Earth's surface under examination and is then compounded by the fact that a second placement image is recorded from a different vantage point. So, while it is possible that all your building footprints will approximately align, more or less, the spires of the tallest buildings will be pointing, or "leaning," different directions. This lean can become confusing in dense population areas, with clouds, foliage, other leaning structures and photographic errors adding to the noise. With that said and if you are willing to proceed, the basic technique is simple. It has become a pretty standard procedure for me since access to quality imagery has been limited.

#### pinkjr

As Rick mentioned, the larger the image, the more error you will build into it. Working on an area as large as a whole airport will not yield good results. Instead....try to group buildings and objects into smaller areas at a time.

For the picture references above, I'd split into the areas shown below (just as a reference):

#### arno

Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
If you make sure the imagery matches the FS2004 style flat earth coordinates, like people do in gmax, I see no problems with it.

#### GaryGB

Indeed, one must use a 'non-warped', properly "projected" aerial imagery background image when 3D modeling.

FYI: For purposes of 3D modeling over an aerial imagery backgrouind, Rhumbaflappy has alluded to a distinction between the 'non-warped' and ready-to-use "projection" of a Windows screen capture from a Google Earth task session window, versus that 'warped' and NOT ready-to-use "projection" derived as a discrete file 'output' by Google Earth:

Assuming one is making scenery for personal use only, and which will not be distributed to the public, only the most current Sketchup version has a functioning "Add Location" / "Geo-location" feature to download / import 'non-warped' aerial imagery into a project.

NOTE: This is only rarely of the same quality as that previously available before Sketchup was sold to Trimble by Google.

"Add Location" / "Geo-location" can be used in conjunction with a plugin Ruby script to import aerial imagery from sources outside Sketchup:

For those who intend to make scenery which will be distributed to the public, Sketchup version-8 can be used without the requirement of additional licensure and associated fees.

This thread discusses that issue, and offers a manual "Add Location" / "Geo-location" work-around (not yet available in a plugin Ruby script):

Hope this helps !

GaryGB

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#### pinkjr

Assuming one is making scenery for personal use only, and which will not be distributed to the public, only the most current Sketchup version has a functioning "Geo-location" feature to download / import 'non-warped' aerial imagery into a project.

NOTE: This is only rarely of the same quality as that previously available before Sketchup was sold to Trimble by Google.

GaryGB
Wasn't geolocation removed? Did they add it back?

#### GaryGB

Wasn't geolocation removed? Did they add it back?
Hi David:

I should properly use Sketchup's feature terminology: "Add Location"; I will consider edits to my existing posts using "Geo-location" at a later time.

FYI: You may wish to review the Sketchup 2018 Release notes under "Miscellaneous":

https://help.sketchup.com/en/article/141303

"Improved terrain resolution for Add Location. Previously the grid for terrain was smaller than expected. It should now work the way it did which allowed up to 2500 points in the terrain mesh."

PS: Here's a long agonizing discussion on the changes to this feature imposed by Google and Trimble back in 2017:

GaryGB

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#### Pyscen

Resource contributor
It wasn't imposed... by Google,... upon the sale of Sketchup to Trimble.... this was happening because Google didn't what another company using their maps... Trimble knew about at the time of the sale... but did nothing in telling their users until 3 months prior of maps being gone....

Of course... why would a company tell their users that their could be a problem...

For That matter why would a company allow another company use their information....

My 2 cents worth....

#### pinkjr

I remember there being some discussion about "some" geo-location capability on the Pro-version, but some users complained about the resolution and area coverage, so I never got to it. Good that they are at least trying to revert back some functionality.