Help _ terrain reconstruction from Google heart



hi all,
as the subject I’m lookimg for advice on how to import data from Google earth and reconstruct the terrain.
there’s any grasshopper plug in?
thanks in advance.


This may help you


I think it’s still working with v6, am I right?

any tips for grasshopper?


(Tim Stark) #5

Tip: there are some great YouTube tutorials. Personally I prefer elk :slight_smile:

The one I started with:

( Charles C.) #6

hi @skysurfer,

What you exactly need ? Only the topography ? or streets, buildings, etc ? And what’s your objective (professional/student/hobbie ?) So I can help you more precisely.


Hi, I’m pretty sure that with Google Earth like Sketchup does is not possible, because google doesn’t offer any API for the terrain point cloud, but it does offers an Elevation API that let you query for complete polyline paths, you can use the CPython component and use the googlemaps module for querying a Rectangular area composed X,Y polylines. I prefer to use Landsat or ASTER, for their height-map format and because they are very precise in a lot of countries. Everything said about Google can change at any time, they tend to change the API like crazy.


thanks for asking.
I need the topography only.
mainly its for a client that want to build a scale model for water turbine.
did you have any tips from your side?

( Charles C.) #9

So, In my experience (quite short but still) you have 3-4 ways of making a topography base on GIS data. Mabye you have other possibilities but I mostly been using Ladybug terrain generator, Elk, Gismo, Heron and Meerkat.

Correct me if i’m wrong but your terrain is in the forest (for a water turbin)? So the highest topography resolution you can get would be about 20-30 meters. It is not that precis… By the way, in order I will give it a try with :



  • data source: based on .HGT file or .IMG file you can found (once again you can found it on SRTM)
  • facts:
    • possibility to map a satelite image on this topo (with alot of options)
  • see:


Ladybug terrain generator

  • data source : google Elevation API
  • resolution : 20-30 meters between XYZ points (coordinate) mostly based on SRTMGL1. Probably more in urban areas.
  • others facts:
    • you can map an high-res satelite image on the topography
    • Since 11 juin 2018, you need an API key in order to have acces to this data.
    • Antonello DiNunzio, is actually working to update this component in R6. Until then… I don’t think you can use it.

** The manual procedure @Antonio_Cersosimo is talking is mainly scripted in the Ladaybug Terrain generator component. About that, @Antonio_Cersosimo can you reach an higher topography resolution then 20m between XYZ pts using Landsat and ASTER?

Good Luck !

Charles C.


thanks Charles,
very exhaustive!
no, the water turbine is for the energy production, sorry I don’t know how to translate it better.

I’ll look into your suggestion.

super thanks!


Not really, ASTER I believe is the more precise 1-arc-second(~30m), Google Earth can have 10 to 3 m precision in some places(USA,Europe…), but not every country, Esri has also a DEM but is not good for now, they expect to have a better one in the future with 1m precision, I really recommend to talk the “national geographic institute” in your country, most of the time they have more precise resolution models.
One of the problems you will have to solve if you try to implement something like this, is which projection to use?, that varies from country to country, and in most of the cases people use WGS84 for uniformity, but that one is not real distance, so it’s not useful for terrain elevation unless you have a way to do reprojection or querying Datum Height…