I have a SketchUp terrain which I imported from Google and used to create contours and eventually a sandbox terrain. I have edited the terrain in SketchUp and now I want to export the sandbox as a geo-referenced digital elevation model (DEM) that can be imported in ArcGIS.

Is there a SketchUp plugin that I can use to export the terrain as a geo-referenced digital elevation model (DEM). My SketchUp model has a geo-location.

Here is a link to my SketchUp model

  • There is no way to export a geo-referenced data out of Sketchup into ArcGIS in versions 10.x. (When Sketchup was owned by Google there was an ArcGIS plugin) Well at least not easily. Currently, you can enhance multipatch features by using the replace technique which may also work with surfaces but getting the model referenced is a bit cumbersome. May 16, 2017 at 12:52
  • FME might be a alternative route to extract your sketchup features there is still some limitation but it might be worth investigating docs.safe.com/fme/html/FME_Desktop_Documentation/…
    – Mapperz
    May 16, 2017 at 13:37
  • 1
    Thanks @PolyGeo , but my reference to ArcGIS, R and HEC-RAS is just meant to show how the resulting DEM can be used (This was just a little extra information. Most people know that all these programs read tif files, esri raster, etc which are different types of raster formats). I dont need help with these programmes and it is not even implied in my question. Either way, I have now edited, the question to avoid the confusion.
    – jjunju
    May 16, 2017 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


Maybe you want to tackle the problem in another way than you propose.

You stated you have contours and want to end with a DEM inside ArcGIS.

You can use contours to create a DEM inside ArcGIS. Topo to Raster is a popular tool choice. (Other various ideas/solutions in that thread)

You can export DWG and KML formats from SketchUp (if thats what you have to started with, a .skp file). ArcGIS will convert both these formats into features (your contour lines) and from there just use the TopoToRaster tool.

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