• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

How Do I model Buildings that are on Sloping Terrains

In this case, Google Earth Ruler tool in {Line} mode is used only to determine the Heading relative to the default Cardinal N-E-S-W Axes of a real world view as seen in Google Earth's view-port, so that value can be used when drawing / 3D modeling in Sketchup. :pushpin:

Oh, I think I see now. When I drew the line across the top of the building in the 2D view map, the heading was 323.14 degrees. So, you're saying to use the Rotate Tool in skethcup and rotate it to 323.14 degrees, correct? And from what I understand how Sketchup axes lines correspond to the N S E W that you linked to, the green solid line points north. And I would take the Rotate Tool and rotate the model from the green line to the heading of 323.14 degrees. Is that how I do it?

One should not export the Path or Line from Google Earth as a KML file to be imported into Sketchup-8 via 'KML Tools' plugin, as the result would be in a "warped" and "rotated" GIS (EPSG:4326) format, thus off axis by approximately 1-to-3 degrees counter-clockwise. :alert:

It seems that you've posted a tutorial explaining this procedure after google stopped the Geo Location in Sketchup. If I remember correctly, one would click the "Add Path" button, draw a line at 3 points, save the file and right click the link just above "Temporary Places" and click "Save Place As" as kml type. Then in Sketchup 8, import the kml using the installed plugin, and that's what I've been doing ever since. That's why I've been using Sketchup 8, because the plugin would not work in Sketchup 2017. Otherwise, I would be using Sketchup 2017. But what I would always do after importing the line is use only one side of the line as the heading reference and then delete it because I knew that the L shaped line I drew in google earth would not perfectly be 90 degrees, and would not follow the red and green axes in Sketchup. I've always thought that was the purpose of the "Add Path" function in google earth so that the heading and the placement would be correct when it was placed in the sim. I've tried to find the link but I cannot find it, or remember the tile of the thread. Now I'm confused.

Last edited:

Here I'm am on approach to runway 36 and be flying over the Baptist Montclair Hospital which is at the bottom of the screen:

Baptist Montclair.jpg
Hi Ken:

Your 3D model looks very good. :)

My latter posts above on maintaining Geographic position / real world Heading are in reply to this query ONLY:


I did have an issue and apparently I did something to cause it. If you look at the screenshot below using the kmz file, when I double click it and opens google earth, it places the project fairly close to where it should be but notice it's not facing in the correct direction and is off by about 30 to 45 degrees:

I don't know why it did not line up with the actual image but I was able to correct it with IS3. I also noticed that I was able to adjust in the Z direction, which is great. From my understanding of kmz files, I thought they contain information as altitude, placement location, and heading. So, I don't understand why it's heading was off as it was. This install did not include all the buildings that's on the complex, but only the main hospital. I had grouped them into individual buildings just to see how well they would lay in the sim. As a matter of fact, I made components of each of the individual buildings, including the parking decks. It doesn't look too bad, but I would like to get that area of the complex a little more flatter and not slope as steeply as they have it in the sim.


FYI: I am exploring another work-around for the poor quality Geo-location imagery in current payware versions of Sketchup, as well as a way to maintain Geographic position / real world Heading and correct GIS projection format ...without having to utilize a complex GIS application.

I will post info on a proposed Sketchup Geo-location alternative work-flow when I have a functioning prototype that merits testing as an open (and free) beta. ;)