There's a neat trick to create contour lines based on the GE 3D terrain using Sketch-Up. The resulting KML however is a model enter image description here

I have looked at ways of importing KML layers to QGIS, like it was suggested here, yet it doesn't accept this kind of kml file.

So, is there a way to import such a thing into QGIS (or ArcMap for that matter)? and if not can such a model be split into its separate contour lines while retaining the z elevation attribute?

Here's the model itself: enter image description here

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    Is your reason for doing this to have contour lines for GIS analysis? If so, why don't you download free DEMs (SRTM or USGS data) and use the create contour tool in QGIS. With this tool you can set any contour interval and you get the attributes stored in the shapefile attribute table. – Ryan Garnett Jun 3 '13 at 20:31
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    The area in question isn't in the US, and the DEMs I have are at best 25m, and that isn't precise enough for my needs. the contour interval above is 0.5 meters. And yes, I'm aware that extracting elevation data like this isn't precise either, but I'd rather use less than perfect data than none at all. – HDunn Jun 4 '13 at 2:44
  • I agree with you there. None North America data is hard to find. – Ryan Garnett Jun 4 '13 at 15:00
  • If your project has a budget you can find world-wide DEMs here: astrium-geo.com/en/66-geo-elevation-and-dem – tobias47n9e Feb 13 '14 at 9:25

If you have the pro version of SU, save it out as a 3D model in DXF/DWG format and then import that into GIS (you'll also likely need to geo-locate your linework as I think the coordinates of your data will have a 0,0 origin)

Alternatively, because your original KML (stuff.kml) file contains the model, placemark etc, I would try saving just the 'model' out as a separate KML file and then trying to convert that. The conversion tools seem to not like it when other types of geometry are in the kml file.

  • Unfortunatley, I don't have a the pro version. I've tried you suggestion, it's still fails to recognize it. – HDunn Jun 6 '13 at 8:53

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