Simplest way to create a terrain Mesh from Google Map?

I guess there are several tools for creating and manipulating terrain meshes out of map info ( I know nothing about maps and GIS and you name it). But, learning about all of this GIS technology feels a bit overhelming for this “one time” need for a mesh of an industrial area in the link below.

So my Q is: Can someone provide with a straight-forward instruction of what tools to use and how to configure it to retreive data and produce a (optionally textured) mesh of the following area? (If data is available, also a rough reconstruction of the buildings, but I can also do that part manually)

The part I want is roughly the follwoing (this is a industrial area, a steelworks, in northern Sweden):

// Rolf

Well … I have no idea how to do this in Rhino (since I never work with Rhino) but I have anything imaginable for doing it in Microstation Connect/AECOSim. Notify if you need a mesh made that way (and/or a nurbs: blame Ray Bentley for that).

That said the Google maps resolution (for public usage) is quite poor for that type of stuff/topology (expect a flat mesh/nurbs more or less) and thus I hardly can see any real-life benefit of using a mesh (bad thing) or a nurbs for the job.

Buildings … er … indeed you need to do them by hand (there’s software for that as well but I strongly recommend to stay away).

I’d be interested in any mesh that can be made. Kind of. I just don’t have a clue about how to do it. And no software for the task either.

And yeah, meshes of the buildings aren’t very important. This is BTW an old workplace of mine (can’t remember how many years ago, but anyway), and I can draw rough versions of the buildings almost “by heart”, if need be.

I would use the mesh only for some playing around with some ideas which an old work-mate had about the logistics on the industrial area. Just for fun I would surprise him with a walk around model of his own ideas. :slight_smile:

The area is quite flat. I don’t think the “average” altitude changes much more than 10 meters. Perhaps not even that. Except for some piles of material here and there.

But I can’t expect anyone to do the meshes for me. I also don’t have any access to better map-quality than the official google maps which I linked to.

// Rolf

While not the most accurate in terms of resolution, (as previously mentioned, google earth’s terrain resolution can vary quite substantially depending on location), you can get a quick mesh from sketchup and then open that in Rhino. It’s quick and dirty, but maybe gets you enough for your exercise? (video below is not mine, and is a bit outdated, but the process is pretty similar.

“Add Location” seems to be available only in the PRO version of Sketchup:

// Rolf

oh, sorry about that. I don’t use sketchup very often. I took a stab at grabbing the area you wanted, (I’ve learned a fair bit from some of your other posts about mesh exploration, so, seems only fair that you get a little something back). Rhino 6, (6.12.19016.7051, 01/16/2019). Some of the tiles overlap. Switching your viewport to rendered mode will show the associated satellite imagery. (also…this was quick and dirty so you might want to verify scale).

GoogleEarthTopo_R6.3dm (2.3 MB)

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Thank you very much Chris, I will have good use for that mesh!

BTW, I just learned from the comments below the video you posted that in tyhe 2017 Make version of Sketchpad they have only moved the command, not removed it entirely. To here


Anyway, I will use your mesh since it’s right there. Thanks!

// Rolf

@chanley, Where did you get those elevation curves from? (Nice!)

// Rolf

oh, i just ran the contour command to show the small elevation difference. They are at 1 meter intervals…I think. Hope it works out for your exercise!

It absolutely will! I will have to remesh to make smaller triangles though, so I can roll some heavy front loaders on the roads there. :slight_smile: (Will use collision testing for that)

This is going to be a fun little learning project.

// Rolf