What kinds of buildings can I model using this method?
This geo-modeling method works for buildings that have vertical exterior walls that terminate in flat or sloped roofs. If this doesn't describe the building you want to model, you should choose another geo-modeling method (or choose another building).
Not really. Most of the time, geo-models don't need to be very accurate in order to look good in Google Earth. Because this method relies on tracing photographs rather than taking precise measurements, the models it produces are good-looking approximations of real-life buildings.
What information do I need before I begin?
Most importantly, you need to be able to see the top of your building clearly in Google Earth. This method relies on tracing the aerial view of your building to produce an outline; if you can't see the shape of your building well enough to do that, you won't be able to use this method.
What information will I need to gather during the process?
You'll need to find out (or estimate) the overall height of your building, as well as the heights of any other roof levels it might have. You'll also need to procure photographs of your building; you can take them yourself or you can use ones that might be available online.
The Extruded Footprint method of geo-modeling with SketchUp involves the following steps:
- Creating a new SketchUp file for geo-modeling
- Geo-locating your model
- Re-positioning the main drawing axes
- Tracing your building footprint
- Subdividing your footprint for different roof heights
- Extruding your footprint to the correct building height
- Applying photo-textures to the sides of your building
- Geo-modeling roofs
- Adjusting your building's position on the terrain
- Previewing your building in Google Earth
- Uploading your geo-model to the 3D Warehouse
Geo-modeling: The process of building 3D models of actual buildings for display in Google Earth is called geo-modeling.
Geo-located: A model which includes information about its precise location on the planet is geographically-located (geo-located). Geo-located buildings can be displayed in Google Earth.
Geo-location snapshot: An aerial-photograph-and-3D terrain object brought into SketchUp using the Add Location dialog box (SketchUp 8 and SketchUp Pro 8 only). A geo-location snapshot is necessary for giving a SketchUp model a geo-location.
Photo-textured: A model which has had photographs of the building it represents applied to its surfaces is called photo-textured. In order to be included in the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth, models must be photo-textured.