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0:01 As stated in our context overview, the quickest and easiest way to view our model in relationship to its surroundings is to export it out of SketchUp to Google Earth.
0:12 First, we need to do a little bit of prep to our model for the best results.
0:18 Start by turning on your ‘Location Terrain’ layer to ensure nothing moved during the modeling process.
0:26 Then given that our terrain is pretty low quality, we should compensate for that by lifting out model up a bit above the terrain to ensure that our design is not being covered by Google Earth ground plane.
0:39 Let’s also make sure to hide or turn off anything we don’t need right now., including our location terrain mesh.
0:48 We’ll also turn off the CAD tree layer and hide the existing tree component because Google Earth shows existing trees now so we’ll want to avoid overlapping there.
0:60 Once we’ve got our clean model ready, just export it as a '3D model'...and choose ‘.KMZ’ from the dropdown list.
1:19 Then once it’s done exporting, just open it up and it will take you straight to the model’s location, since we took the time to geo-locate our model in the beginning.
1:38 Make sure to have your 3D buildings and terrain layers turned on in the side bar.
1:54 Also note that it may take a couple of tries to get the model to sit above the existing terrain correctly.
2:01 If it’s still covered, then just go back and move it up a little bit more.
2:15 And try exporting it to '.KMZ' again until it's looking right.
2:31 The nice thing about this Google Earth method is that you can spin around the model in order to see context from different vantage points.
2:43 The lower or closer you zoom in, the more the imagery becomes distorted so it’s best to stay high level here.
2:50 Of course, the constraint with using Google Earth is twofold:
2:54 Firstly, while it’s nice to see the context buildings surrounding the site, there’s nothing further we can do with it.
3:01 For example, we can’t cut sections, do sun/shade studies, manage layers, or export views to scale.
3:18 So for now, keep this process in your back pocket for the design or early study phase of your project.